Girls varsity soccer moves closer to a fifteenth straight conference championship with a 5-1 win over Lowell on Senior Night

Tommy Spaletto

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Four out of the five Lady Ranger goals on the night were from seniors, which was only fitting in a statement win against the Lowell Red Arrows 5-1 on Senior Night. FHC now sits one game away from winning a fifteenth straight conference title. Some of the big goals came from senior twins Kaitlyn and Megan Piontkowski along with senior captain Ashley Ward.

“Tonight’s win was a huge team victory,“ head coach Ashley Ludkte said. “Not only did it bring us one step closer to defending our conference championship title, but it was also the last time our seniors will compete on our home turf. This game was one of the biggest games of our season to date. We battled against a tough opponent and played relentless soccer.”

FHC got off to a hot start, retaining plenty of possession and turning them into shots on goal. Eventually, freshman Lauren Koczenasz had a nice putback goal off a shot from Kaitlyn only eight minutes into the game. Ashley would then put the Lady Rangers up 2-0 off of a great pass from Megan just seven minutes after Lauren’s goal. Later in the half, Lowell started to get on the offensive and get more opportunities at the net. Senior goalie Alexa Lauer did an excellent job at making some incredible diving saves to limit the momentum that the Red Arrows had.

“Tonight, I knew I needed to focus on coming out strong during their throw-ins,” Alexa said. “They score most of their goals through their throw-ins and all of the defensive lineup had to be strong in the air.”

Kaitlyn Piontkowsky would put in the third FHC goal of the game off of an assist from junior Jordan Helmbrecht. The Lady Rangers would go into halftime up 3-0 on Lowell, already outscoring their goal total from last game at Red Arrow Stadium.

Just six minutes into the second half, Kaitlyn would put in her second goal of the game to extend the FHC lead to 4-0. Kaitlyn’s strong performance was only fitting for her to go out strong for her last home game.

“[The two goals] meant a lot, especially knowing it was my last game on that field,” Kaitlyn said. “Going into the senior game, there’s always that energy, especially against Lowell. I don’t think it could’ve been a better matchup honestly.”

Less than a minute later, Kaitlyn’s twin sister Megan would put in the final FHC goal of the game to go up 5-0. After a miscommunication on defense resulting in an own-goal and Lowell scoring their only goal of the game, the Lady Ranger defense played a great final 18 minutes of the game. Sophomore Autumn Burns, junior captain Ally Francisco, and senior captain Chloe Grooters did a great job of marking Lowell’s two outstanding forwards in Regan Coxan and Khloe Hayes. 

“Tonight was a huge win, mainly because it almost secured the conference championship for us, but also because it was our last home game,” Chloe said. “[Senior Night] is always one of the more emotional games, which just adds to the drive to win.”

The win on Senior Night puts FHC’s record at 15-2 overall and 10-1 in the OK White Conference with one game left in the regular season. The Lady Rangers will have the opportunity to secure their third straight conference title with a game Monday on the road against Greenville. FHC hopes to win this game and make a strong playoff run to send an incredible senior class off on a high note.

For coach Ludtke, this group of seniors will forever be remembered not only to the program but to her as well.

“This is a special group of seniors to me,” Ludtke said. “Prior to being the girls varsity head coach, I was the JV head coach at FHC. This is the first class I have had the opportunity to coach most of these seniors for all four years of their high school career. Watching them all grow and develop by working hard over the years has been a lot of fun. I’m proud of what they have accomplished on the field, but also getting to know them and their many accomplishments in the different areas of their lives. I’m excited to see what challenges they tackle in the next chapter of their lives.”