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Oxford sweeps Horn Lake in season openers

OXFORD — Morgan O’Connor and her teammates remember vividly how their first season in Class 6A ended. They made an emphatic statement in their season opener to let the rest of 6A know they are still a contender in February.

The Lady Chargers defeated Horn Lake 14-0 at Bobby Holcomb Field on Thursday. O’Connor scored five goals and nine other players found the back of the net in Oxford’s dominant win.

“That’s probably the first time we’ve had most of the starting group together at the same time since last year,” Oxford girls’ head coach Hunter Crane said. “We wanted to see them come out and get a little rhythm and they did. We had a lot of opportunities, a lot of good possessions. I was pleased with kind of our shape and our rhythm.”

Sophomore midfielder Carissa Strum got the offense going with a goal in the first two minutes of the match. O’Connor scored the next three and completed her first hat trick of the season by the 14th minute of the match.

Maria Jones, Sarah Perry, Molly Swingle, Kathleen Myers, Ivy Dennis, Olivia Rychlak, Hannah Randall and Hallie Davis all recorded their first goals of the season.

“We expect to be pretty strong offensively this year,” Crane said. “We return a good bit of experience and a lot of fire power. We like to spread it around and we know some people are going to try to take (O’Connor) away from us. So, the idea is to not rely on her being the only one to score. When they double team her it really opens up the field up for other players and made a lot of opportunities.”

Mott leads Chargers

The boys’ soccer team lost a lot of production from last year’s team due to graduation and have spent the first couple weeks of practice trying get a new-look team to gel and come together. If Thursday’s result was any indication, the Chargers will once again make a run at the Class 6A title.

Senior Dean Mott led with two goals in Oxford’s 4-0 win over Horn Lake. Junior Luke Freeman also recorded his first goal of the season.

“Horn Lake played us very physical but I thought the boys possessed very well,” Oxford boys’ coach Charles Sabatier said. “One thing we’re looking to do this season is start the possession out of the back. The attack started (in the back) where last year it didn’t often start with them.”

After much of the opening half had been tightly contested, Mott opened things up with a goal off a corner kick in the 25th minute. He doubled the Chargers’ lead five minutes later with his second goal of the night.

“Dean absolutely have phenomenal vision and touch in the midfield,” Oxford boys’ coach Charles Sabatier said. “He’s going to be distributing and playing both defense as well as coordinating our offense.”