SPRING — Grand Oaks is off to a blazing start this season.
The Grizzlies remained unbeaten with a 6-0 non-district home victory over New Caney on Friday night. Grand Oaks has now won four consecutive games, and the team’s scoreless draw against Lumberton was the only contest that did not land in the left-hand column.
Grand Oaks (7-0-1) and New Caney (3-3-2) were District 20-5A opponents last season but only played once due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Lady Eagles won that contest 3-1.
“This was kind of a revenge match for us because last year, we didn’t get to play them a second time,” Grand Oaks coach Amy Simpson said. “When we went to their place, we got out on a quick 1-0 lead, and then we lost 3-1. We talked about kind of avenging that loss from last year in district.”
The Grizzlies turned the tables Friday and came out firing on all cylinders.
Grand Oaks jumped on the board just a few minutes into the contest when Reese Rupe scored with an assist from Natalie Bruschke. The Grizzlies struck again just over a minute later when Rupe returned the favor to her teammate and assisted on a goal by Bruschke.
Bruschke tallied her second goal of the game a short time later with an assist from Chloe Covarrubio. Jorja Bragg then got into the scoring action with an assist from Analise Caudle. That gave Grand Oaks a commanding 4-0 lead less than 13 minutes into the game.
“In our tournament game against Temple, we scored in the first three minutes, and then we kind of took our foot off the gas,” Simpson said. “We’ve got to keep going, so I like the fact that we scored four goals in 12 minutes. I was a little surprised by that, to tell you the truth, but I’ll take it for sure. We’ve been working a lot on our crossing and finishing and the runs of our forwards, so it’s nice to kind of see that come together after you’ve been practicing it all week.”
The Grizzlies’ fifth goal came in the 27th minute when Rupe collected her second of the game with an assist from Caudle. Hannah Stradling scored from long range a few minutes later to make it 6-0.
Rupe, a sophomore who was the All-Montgomery County Newcomer of the Year last spring, is leading the attack for the Grizzlies once again with 17 goals and five assists through eight games.
The Grizzlies have outscored their opponents 27-1 this season altogether.
“When I talked to her before the season, I was like, ‘I’m going to put some pressure on you,’” Simpson said. “I know she can handle it because she’s a smart girl, and she handles pressure well. I told her, ‘I need you to put this team on your back and carry them.’ I didn’t tell her, ‘We’re not going to win if you don’t score.’ That’s not the case. But I told her she needs to be the hardest working player on the field.”
New Caney returns to action at 7 p.m. Tuesday when the team opens its District 20-5A slate at Lake Creek. Grand Oaks will host Liberty for a non-district match at 5 p.m. that day. The Grizzlies will begin their first-ever Class 6A district schedule on Feb. 5 at home against College Park.