On Senior Night, Flagg records 1st career shutout in 2-0 win over Newman

OC goalkeeper Chelsie Flagg (right) prepares to catch the ball as teammate Areli Bermudez Delgado (left, 4) works to keep the ball away from Newman's Tara Minx during Monday night's game.
OC goalkeeper Chelsie Flagg (right) prepares to catch the ball as teammate Areli Bermudez Delgado (left, 4) works to keep the ball away from Newman's Tara Minx during Monday night's game.

OKLAHOMA CITY (Oct. 28, 2013) – When Chelsie Flagg moved out of the goal after two years and became a field player for Oklahoma Christian before the 2012 season, she probably didn’t picture her final  home game turning out quite the way it did Monday night.

Moved back to goalkeeper late this season, the senior from Highlands Ranch, Colo., made her final home game a memorable one, recording six saves and posting her first career shutout as OC beat Newman (Kan.) 2-0.

OC (3-10-2, 1-5-1 Heartland Conference) recorded its first league win of the season over a Newman team battling for a spot in the four-team conference tournament. Newman (6-8, 3-4) missed a couple of scoring chances late in the game, but more often than not, it was Flagg making strong saves and decisive plays in the penalty box to keep the Jets at bay.

“At first it was really weird to be back in the goal, but it feels good,” Flagg said. “I felt comfortable again back there and it just means a lot. The team played so hard and they really left it all out there. It was for the seniors and it meant a lot. To get a shutout the last time on this field, it’s really cool.”

The Lady Eagles took advantage of two defensive miscues by Newman to score two early goals. In the 17th minute, senior Addie Ryan sent in a booming free kick from about 45 yards out and when the  Jets didn’t clear it, Rachel Bates tapped the ball into the net past goalkeeper Haley Borchers to put OC ahead 1-0.

In the 22nd minute, sophomore Alexis Farrell recorded her first assist of the season when the defender’s cross found Estefania Bermudez Delgado inside the penalty box. Again, the Jets weren’t able to clear the ball and Bermudez Delgado ended up scoring her team-high sixth goal of the season.

The Jets outshot OC 14-12 – including by 7-4 in the second half – but the Lady Eagles attacked enough to keep Newman honest defensively. Newman had two good second-half scoring chances but came up empty both times. Flagg leaped high to fist a free kick by Blair Terry over the crossbar in the 75th minute and in the 85th minute, Maricela Ruvalcaba shot wide with an open net in front of her.

OC avenged a 2-1 loss to Newman earlier this season in a nonconference game.

“Our message to the girls was that they earned it,” OC coach Randall Robison said. “Not only did they go out and to the work to deserve it, but they took care of the details that allowed them to earn the victory. I’m so incredibly proud of these girls. They have worked so hard this season. We feel like they’ve been close in so many games, to just kind of have them slip away.

“Tonight they played a complete game, cleaned up the mistakes in the back and took advantage of some opportunities up top and they got the result that we really felt should have gone their way earlier this year.”

Flagg was involved in one other shutout during her career, splitting time with Kaitlyn Whitten in a 2-0 win over Bacone during the 2011 season, but never before had gone the distance in goal without allowing a score.

“I don’t know if I can say exactly how we feel about Chelsie, because she’s such an incredible team player,” Robison said. “She’ll do anything this team needs. We said on the sideline that there’s no way that anyone was getting in our goal tonight with Chelsie there, just because of what she’d do for these girls.”