The Rolla soccer team (1-1) had a tough matchup when they opened the Pacific Tournament on Tuesday, Sept. 4 when they were tasked with facing the Class 3 State runner-up Washington Jays. The Bulldogs were able to grab a lead early, but couldn't keep their offense up in a 2-1 loss.
Rolla jumped out in front mid-way through the opening half when Jarret Gabriele found the back of the net off a pass from Gabe Stanislawski in the 23rd minute. That lead was short-lived, however, as Washington's Michael Andrews scored on a long run by the Jays just two minutes later. That sent the game into the half with the game locked at one.
The second half was quiet until there were 19 minutes left in the game when Rolla keeper Josiah Homan was penalized for handling the ball just outside of the penalty area. That led to Andrews' second goal of the game. Washington was able to maintain that lead for the remainder of the half and hold on to a 2-1 win over the Bulldogs.
Despite the loss, Rolla controlled the pace of play throughout the game. The Bulldogs had 17 shots on goal to Washington's seven, while adding nine corner kicks and holding Washington to just one. While Rolla maintained pressure for most of the game, head coach Mike Howard said his team was a bit thrown by Washington's quick response in the first half.
“Washington has a recent history of success. They play very hard and have two players that are just incredible soccer players that we had a hard time dealing with to say the least. It’s never fun to lose but if you get something out of it and improve then all is not lost," said coach Howard. "When they scored on their first shot so quickly after we had taken the lead, we kind of got out of playing our game and let them control the flow of the game, so that was disappointing. We will have a hard time winning games if we try to adopt that style of play. So hopefully we learn from it and move on.”
Rolla followed the loss with a matchup against Warrenton in the consolation bracket on Wednesday, but results were not available at press time.