September 21, 2011 - Ferndale saw just how good Oxford boys soccer can be as the Wildcats swept the Eagles in back-to-back games this week.
In a rematch of their first Oakland Activities Association contest from last season, the Wildcats traveled down to Ferndale on Tuesday, Sept. 13 and found themselves in a defensive battle, playing to a 0-0 tie at halftime.
Varsity head coach John Thaler wasn't pleased with his team's performance during the opening 40 minutes, saying his team came out with "late challenges, erroneous first touches and less than desirable attacks on goal."
Following an inspiring halftime speech, Oxford created numerous scoring chances and was able to capitalize for the game's only goal when a corner kick found it's way out to junior defender Josh Nelson at the 40 yard line.
Nelson collected the ball, lined up the shot and drilled it into the net by the far post.
Oxford would create other scoring opportunities, the best coming when junior Noah Stevens sailed a shot just wide after making a run on the outside of the field.
The offensive attack would pick up in game two as both teams battled back and forth on Thursday, Sept. 15 at the Oxford Elementery Stadium.
Oxford would pull out a hard fought 4-2 victory over Ferndale due to a hat-trick from senior Tyler Mayes.
Mayes would strike quickly when he scored his first goal on a breakaway two minutes into the game.
However, Ferndale would tie the game less than a minute later.
Mayes gave Oxford a 2-1 lead with his second goal, coming at the 28 minute mark of the first half following a ball-handling miscue from Ferndale's keeper.
Ferndale would tie the game at two early in the second half, but Mayes proved to be too much for Ferndale to handle after he scored his third goal of the game on a corner kick from sophomore Chase Garavaglia.
The Wildcats would add an insurance goal with 10 minutes left in the game when Mayes and senior captain Doug Klimball broke away from the defense.
Mayes made a perfect one-time pass to Klimball, who slotted the ball into the net by the far post.
With the victories, Oxford improves to 4-1-1 in the OAA Blue and 6-2-1 overall.
Up next for Oxford is the first of two visits to Farmington Hills Harrison on Tuesday, Sept. 20 before taking on West Bloomfield at OHS on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.