The Rolla girls soccer team (6-3-1) knew they had their hands full when they made the trip down to Union on Wednesday, April 12. Union just missed out on the top 10 in the first Class 3 rankings and is a part of Rolla's stacked District with Washington and Pacific. Union took an early lead and never looked back in a 3-1 win over the Lady Bulldogs.
Union struck twice in the first half and Rolla wasn't able to come up with a response. They added a third goal in the second half before Addy Brow was able to find the back of the net off an assist from Morgan Gabrielle with 11 minutes left in the game. That goal was too little too late for Rolla, as they fell 3-1.
The JV game ended in a scoreless tie with Kate Brand earning a shutout. The JV Lady Bulldogs move to 4-1-1.
“When MSHSAA released the district assignments I knew we were in for a tough go of it," said head coach Mike Howard. "Washington is ranked ahead of us in the state poll at number nine and Union was right behind us at number 11, and I’m sure they will move ahead of us as they should with this win. So at best, no matter how the rest of our season goes we are looking at a 3 or 4 seed in a very tough district since we will not play Washington or Pacific in the regular season.
"You know, I started talking to our girls a week ago about this match and how much was at stake. It’s our first road game, got switched from JV first to varsity first this morning. Lots of reasons to make excuses, but Union simply outworked us and deserved to win," continued Howard. "Matt Fennessey is one of the best coaches we face all season. His teams play hard, win or at least challenge for every 50/50 ball, are very organized, come forward very directly but with a lot of purpose. It’s a tough match up for us, reminds me a lot of Northwest and I’m sure they are very similar to Washington. We’ve got some work to do no doubt."
Next up for Rolla is a trip to Hazelwood Central on Saturday, April 15.