Rolla soccer made the trip down to Glendale despite the weather on Tuesday.
With all the weather coming in over the weekend and throughout this week, Rolla soccer (12-3-1, 8-0 OC) had two games on their schedule this week that had to be played. The Lady Bulldogs sacrificed their game against Jeff City on Monday, May 1, as least for now, because of road closures on 63. But Rolla's matchups against Glendale on Tuesday, May 2 and Kickapoo on Thursday, May 4 are games that had to be played to decide a winner in the Ozark Conference. Rolla has now set themselves up for a chance to end the season with a perfect conference record with a 1-0 victory over Glendale, who is now officially out of the running for a conference championship with their second loss to an Ozark Conference foe.
Tuesday's game was a defensive matchup through and through. The first half came and went without a goal by either team. Rolla head coach Mike Howard gives Elsa Wise a lot of credit for their defensive effort throughout the game.
"Elsa Wise came into the game after about 5 minutes and marked their best player the rest of the game and did a great job on her all night long," said the Rolla coach.
That scoreless run carried into the second half for the first 23 minutes, but the Lady Bulldogs were finally able to break through. Senior Olivia Gonzales took a pass from Ryleigh Grommet and was able to convert for the lone goal of the game.
Rolla held on to help Kelly Cates earn her 10th shutout of the season in goal and the Lady Bulldogs were able to keep their undefeated record within the Ozark Conference.
Rolla and Kickapoo will now face off as the only two teams with clean records within the Ozark Conference. The winner will take home the conference crown, as it will be Rolla's final conference game and Kickapoo has just one game against Glendale left. Even if Kickapoo were to win and lose to Glendale, the Lady Chiefs will have the tiebreaker over Rolla.
Coach Howard gives a lot of credit to Rolla's recent play to how his team has responded to their 3-1 loss to Union on Wednesday, April 12. The Lady Bulldogs haven't lost a game since falling to their future District foe.
"The 8-0 start in conference play is not an easy thing to do, proud of the girls for their play so far. It gives a chance to play for the title on our own field against a great Kickapoo team," said coach Howard. "Since we lost April 12 at Union this group has been very focused, we played a solid game tonight creating some good chances. It’s always tough to go to Glendale and come away with a win."