If there was a juxtaposition for Murphy’s Law, perhaps it should be named Delgado’s Law.
Well, at least it seemed that way in Oak Grove’s girls soccer match against Van Horn Thursday. What could go right, went right for Panther senior midfielder Mary Delgado.
She notched a hat trick, including a pair of goals that had a touch of luck, and also received a scholarship at halftime during a 5-0 victory over the Falcons in a non-conference contest.
It was just that kind of night for Delgado, who played for the Metro East club soccer team for several years, and was rewarded with a scholarship because of it.
“The people who organized the scholarship saw me playing growing up and have known me for a long time,” Delgado said. “It was awesome to receive that from them because they’ve known me for such a long time.”
She also scored the final three goals for No. 7 state-ranked Oak Grove Panthers (11-2), who are having a breakthrough season.
“This is the first time we’ve ever been ranked, boys or girls,” Oak Grove coach Zach Herzig said. “I think we’re turning some heads. I know the Pleasant Hill coach came out and watched us three times before they even played us. He was afraid that we were looking good.”
Senior forward Megan Borland got the scoring started when she received the ball with her back to the goal, turned around and beat a Van Horn defender to the left. She slipped a shot past Van Horn goalkeeper Olivia Tali for a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute. Freshman Annika Holtorf made it 2-0 about four minutes later when she collected a ball that deflected off a Falcon defender and slipped a shot by Tali after she came off her line.
After that, it was Delgado time.
She sent a high-arcing shot on a direct free kick from just inside the box and it hit the right post. Luckily for her, the ball bounced off of Tali and into the goal for a 3-0 advantage in the 37th minute.
“I asked the ref, ‘Is it direct?’ And he said, ‘Yeah,’” Delgado said. “I kind of chipped and the wind lifted it up and gave me a boost and it went in thanks to the post.”
As time was winding down in the first half, the Panthers were awarded a direct free kick from about 30 yards out. Delgado was awaiting one of the ball boys to get her the ball in the middle of the field. She had two come her away at once and she had to make a quick decision. She grabbed one and fired off a kick with about five seconds left. It deflected off Tali’s hands and went into the goal with 0.1 seconds left for a 4-0 lead going into halftime.
“I told her, ‘You’ve got to shoot right now!” Herzig said. “She had a ball flying at her from the left side and one from the right side. I was like, ‘Shoot it! Shoot it!’ And she put it in.”
She added her third goal early in the second half after a cross from Jessica Keyser.
“We’re really swinging the ball around well this year,” Oak Grove junior Virginia Hayes said. “We really struggled with that in the past. We just kept kicking up. But we’re really connecting with our midfield this year.”
The Panthers possessed the ball for the majority of the match and held a 11-1 edge in shots on goal. Van Horn (7-4) didn’t get its first shot on goal until the 76th minute.
“We couldn’t put anything together and we couldn’t possess the ball,” Van Horn coach Vanessa Brockmeier said. “They’re a good team. I don’t think we played bad, we just couldn’t find our possession.”