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Airedale soccer teams fall

Prairie Grove 7, Alma 0

Alma dropped its season opener to Prairie Grove Thursday night in a Benefit game at Airedale Stadium. The Lady Airedales had three shots on goal, including one each from Lydia Bowerman and Ansley Kirkendoll.

Magalie Higgins had 7 saves in the goal in her first start for the Lady Airedales.

“We were outshot 15-3,” coach Cory Sturdivant said. “(But) overall very pleased with the effort and hustle of our girls. Last night we played every girl and started four who were not only starting their first high school game but their very first game ever in the sport. We have a lot of girls playing different positions right now than what I had originally thought with most of our girls still in basketball and one of our starters out in a return-to-play protocol.

Sturdivant said he was pleased with junior Kaslyn Hatton’s overall performance. 

“She brought the energy last night to the field; I'd say she was our player of the game,” Sturdivant said. “Relentless effort and pressure last night starting on defense and ending up playing most of the night at center mid. Kaslyn will be a big-time player for us. Great kid with the best attitude, and you can never question if she's giving 100 percent all the time on the bench or on the field.”

Seniors Bowerman and Ashlyn Chronister also played well, Sturdivant said. Kirkendoll, a defensive center back, and Olivia Reed played well defensively.”

PG 2, Alma 1 

BOYS — The Alma boys team dropped a 2-1 decision to Prairie Grove Thursday night. Junior exchange student Juan Toubes accounted for Alma’s lone goal in the 39th minute. 

Prairie Grove was able to score on a free kick in the 9th minute and scored again on a defensive error in front of the goal in the 12th minute.

Senior goalkeeper Johnathan Pulido had eight saves and looked sharp, Sturdivant said. 

An untested Airedale defense was able to hold PG out for the final 68 minutes against a very attacking Tiger team. Senior Goalkeeper Johnathan Pulido in his first start had eight saves and looked sharp. 

Senior Aryn Wilkinson returning to the lineup was a huge boost with key defensive plays to stop attacks outside the 18-yard box. Junior Devin Ramos and freshman Carlos Gonzales played well in the back also. Junior Diego Lane and Sophomore Caleb Ferguson split time at right back on defense and both played well.

Offensively, senior Derick Johnson had two shots on goal. Junior center midfielder Eric Dover adjusted well to his role in midfield. 

“Overall, I still feel like the foundation is there with the boys, it'll be about the right combinations of people on the field at the same time,” Sturdivant said. “Depth was a huge boost for the boys team last night in being able to stay fresh and rotate.”

Alma opens the regular season Tuesday against Clarksville.