Broncos win two games before Spring Break; First-year coach Shana Gulikers excited for team’s potential

Soccer, Spring Sports

Trey Hunter

March 19, 2024
Sophia See (Sr.) winds up to take a shot during Mustang's 2-0 loss to Edmond Memorial on March 1, 2024, at the Mustang High School Soccer Complex. See is one of eight seniors leading the Broncos into a new era under first-year coach Shana Gulikers. (Photo by Shelly Holinsworth / Freelance Action Photography)

When Shana Gulikers took over as head coach of the Mustang Bronco girls soccer team she saw the program’s potential right away.

Before a match was played under her tenure or before even hitting the practice field, she made sure to listen to players, current and former coaches, and others who know their way around the pitch at MHS.

And she knew immediately expectations should be set to the highest level.

“We want to compete for a state title,” said Gulikers, a former University of Oklahoma team captain who spent the last 16 years coaching at multiple levels, including a current stint as the Associate Academy Director for local soccer club Oklahoma Celtic.

“We want to have a good time of course, and we’re aiming to kind of change the mindset and culture. But we want to compete and win. And right now, we have a group of girls who are buying in and want that opportunity.”

The Broncos, who are off to a 2-3 start during non-district play, not only feature a new coach, but also a heavily turned over roster. The team graduated nearly 20 players from last season, including Oklahoma State midfielder Katie Jones.

Maddie Bullard, Sophia See, Kyrie Soto, Jana McCool, and Macy James head the team’s group of seniors this year.

Four juniors, seven sophomores, and five freshmen make up the rest of Mustang’s rotation.

“We’re on the young side, which is good,” Gulikers said. “A lot of the girls weren’t on varsity last year, so it’s almost like a brand-new team. We’re continuing to build chemistry between the upperclassmen and the younger players, which can lead to some learning curves, especially with a new staff and new philosophy.

“But the girls have done a good job of competing and wanting to win. We’re really excited to see where we can end up by the end of the season.”

Jareli Pando (Fr.) works her way up field during Mustang’s season opener vs Edmond Memorial on March 1, 2024, at the Mustang Soccer Complex. Pando is one of multiple underclassmen gaining experience during Shana Gulikers’ first year as head coach. (Photo by Shelly Holinsworth / Freelance Action Photography)

See, a senior forward, leads the team in goals this spring with three. She has put four shots on goal and has tallied one assist.

Freshman Londynn Hagan plays alongside See up front and has put two in the back of the net. Both players have combined for 21 shots, including eight shots on goal.

Gulikers says she has also seen “good things” from Jareli Pando (So.) and Olivia Fairchild (Fr.) at the forward position. Each have recorded one goal while Pando has dealt out two assists.

Soto helps lead a young, but talented Bronco midfield. She has one goal this season on four shots, playing alongside Mya Denson (Jr.), Addison Jordan (So.), Emily Brown (Jr.), Ainsely Neal (So.), and Riley Stauffer (So.).

Jordan has two goals while Brown and Neal each have one. Denson leads the group with two assists each while Neal, Brown, and Jordan have tallied one apiece.

Aubree Goebel (So.), Madi Hedgecock (So.), Aubry Tagmir (Fr.), and McCool hold down the team’s back line when running four defenders. Gulikers has been especially excited about the “physicality” to that group’s game.

Aubry Tagmir (Fr.) and Jana McCool (Sr.) rise above an Edmond Memorial offensive player for a header during the team’s 2-0 loss to the Bulldogs on March 1, 2024, at the Mustang Soccer Complex. (Photo by Shelly Holinsworth / Freelance Action Photography)

“We are young there, but very solid,” she said. “We’re pretty happy so far with their play and organization and how they’re moving the ball the right way. A lot of positives.”

Bullard handles the net for Mustang with Kinley Westfahl (Fr.) in the reserve role. The Broncos have allowed nine goals so far, but Gulikers says the majority of opponents’ scores have come outside the run of play.

“That has been the biggest problem so far this year,” she said. “Fouling outside the box, set pieces, bad decisions, a couple of keeper mistakes… We have some things to clean up, but at the same time, we are young and working through those things.”

The Broncos opened the season with a 2-0 loss to Edmond Memorial but bounced back with a 4-1 win over Stillwater in Game 2. They fell 4-2 to Bedlam rival Yukon in a heated, physical contest.

See and Hagan combined for 3 goals in the win over the Pioneers. Gulikers said she could see that combination “gaining some validity” during the match.

Mustang goalkeeper Maddie Bullard (Sr.) keeps the ball away from an Edmond Memorial offensive players during the team’s 2-0 loss on March 1, 2024, at the Mustang Soccer Complex. (Photo by Shelly Holinsworth / Freelance Action Photography)

Mustang followed the loss to Yukon with a 6-0 road win over Woodward the next night.

“It was a quick turnaround, but a good confidence booster for us,” Gulikers said. “We were able to play the whole bench and rest some legs. Checked both of those boxes. We had good ball movement, and it was just good to see the ball hit the back of the net.”

The Broncos return to the pitch next Tuesday for their final non-district match vs Union. The team’s district matchups at home include Norman (3/29) and Edmond Santa Fe (4/5). They travel to Edmond North (4/2), Lawton (4/9), and Capitol Hill (4/16).

Gulikers would like to see her team get off to faster starts over the final six matches. They will be recharged after nearly two weeks off for Spring Break.

“The biggest thing right now is starting fast,” she said. “Coming into matches and finishing early opportunities is key. We have to set the tone over the first five minutes and start playing from ahead.

“We’re really emphasizing that and being consistent and solid for a full 80 minutes. That will bring about confidence and momentum and we should start seeing a lot more chances during the run of play.”

The Broncos and Redhawks are set to kick off at 6 p.m. next Tuesday at the Mustang Soccer Complex.

Published by trey hunter

Trey Hunter is the owner and publisher of the Mustang Sports Review. He graduated from Mustang High School in 2006 before graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma with a journalism degree in 2011. He has covered Mustang sports for multiple publications as well as high school sports and professional basketball for other outlets. Contact Trey for story ideas or reach out with information. PHONE: (405) 659-9898 EMAIL:

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