The Rolla girls soccer team (12-7, 8-0 OC) hosted Glendale for an Ozark Conference matchup on Tuesday, May 1. This was the first of two matchups against teams that are undefeated in the conference and Rolla got off to an excellent start with a 3-0 win.
Rolla was given a few gifts to open the match. Glendale was called for a foul in the box in the seventh minute, which put Ryleigh Grommet to the line for a penalty kick. Grommet, who was celebrated for her Senior Spotlight before the game, dropped an shot past the Glendale keeper and the Lady Bulldogs were on the board. After another seven minutes passed, the Lady Falcons had a handball in the box, which set up another PK. Ariana Stanislawski took the second penalty kick for Rolla and rocketed a shot just inside the right post and the Lady Bulldogs were out in front 2-0.
The Lady Bulldogs didn't just need PKs though, as they found one more goal from the field. Rolla was given a corner kick in the 20th minute and Elsa Wise launched a deep kick. The ball soared over most of the players, but Kendall Mara was there to clean things up on the back end. She sophomore was able to get a foot on it and her shot went over the outstretched arms of the Lady Falcon keeper for her second goal of the season. Mara's goal gave Rolla a 3-0, which they would hold onto for the rest of the game.
The Rolla defense did an excellent job all night long, as the Lady Falcons were only able to make a couple of offensive runs. Kelly Cates recorded the shutout for Rolla, their 10th of the season. Rolla made a few more runs offensively in the second half, but never added to their 3-0 lead.
"I was just happy with our effort," said head coach Mike Howard after the game. "After yesterday's game against Jeff City, I don't know if I've ever seen a Rolla team play so lackluster as they did yesterday. We had a good talk before the game and I was proud of our effort mainly."
Grommet said she and the Lady Bulldogs wanted to shake off that rough game for an important conference game.
"After the rough game against Jeff City everybody was ready to come in and redeem themselves," said the senior captain. "Coming in and getting those two PKs early on really allowed us to set the tone. I'm really proud of my team for this win."
Grommet has been an integral part of the Rolla soccer team for four years now and coach Howard was glad to celebrate her accomplishments during a great Ozark Conference win.
"Ryleigh's been a force for us all year long. She's been a great leader, a positive leader," said coach Howard. "She's a four-year starter and she's pretty much seen it all. She's done a super job for us."
Rolla's week doesn't get any easier after taking down an undefeated team in the Ozark Conference. They head to Kickapoo on Thursday to try to take down another team with a zero in the loss column within the conference. Coach Howard doesn't want his team focusing on the perfect conference record, but to just go down and play their game.
"We know that's a pretty tall test in front of us," said the Rolla head coach. "The good news is nobody expects us to win, nobody expected us to be 8-0 in the Ozark Conference, I can guarantee you. Our girls should be able to relax and just go out and play and see what happens."