After four years as the girls soccer coach at Broken Arrow, Kassie Embrey believes she has the Tiger program right where she wants it.
“You need four years to start your own program because then you have nobody left over from the previous program to judge how the previous person did it,” said Embrey.
Embrey definitely has the Tigers on the right track. Last season, they advanced to the 6A semifinals before losing 1-0 to eventual champion Deer Creek. This year, despite losing leading scorer Alexis Mireles to a season-ending injury, they’re unbeaten in district play and one of the teams to beat in the state’s largest classification.
Watch Bixby vs Broken Arrow Girls and Boys Soccer – Friday, April 14th starting at 6 pm on YurView OK (Cox channel 3) and streaming for free.
“We’re really focusing on ‘We before Me’ this year,” stated Embrey. “We want to make sure that team success is our main goal rather than individual success. If we can be a team the whole time and play for each other, then I think we’ll be successful.”
“I do think they are starting to buy into it,” added Embrey. “We have great leaders. This is our first year putting a hard, hard emphasis on it and I think the more years we do it, the more that it will become our norm.”
The Tigers certainly played as a team in their most recent game, a 10-0 win over Muskogee. Seven different players scored a goal and defensively, the team recorded its third straight shutout.
“We’re playing well defensively,” admitted Embrey. “We have three of our four in our back line returning, so we’re pretty experienced and that’s been very helpful.”
The team has had to share the wealth offensively to make up for the loss of the junior Mireles. Stepping up recently has been freshman forward Bailey Martin, who had two goals against Muskogee.
The next test for the Tigers is a big district showdown with crosstown rival Bixby. Yurview will broadcast both the boys and girls matches live Friday night and stream the event on Yurview.com/OK.
“It’s going to be a good game,” said Embrey. “There’s very good athletes and coaches on both staffs. My hope is for us to stay healthy and composed. Kids tend to get really nervous whenever it’s a rivalry game, especially those who haven’t been in high-pressured situations before.”
Embrey believes Broken Arrow has the ability and desire to make another deep run in the state playoffs.
“Definitely. We are very talented all over the field. We have eight returners from last year and we have pretty good chemistry.”