The Lady Bulldog soccer team came back from Spring Break to host Parkview for their Ozark Conference opener on Monday, April 1. Rolla struck first with an early goal and held on for a 1-0 win.
Rolla came into the game fresh off a much needed 10-day break. The Lady Bulldogs opened the season with five games in six days and came into the matchup with an 0-2-3 record. Rolla was looking to make a statement early to earn their first win of the season and senior captain Elsa Wise did just that in the 17th minute. She took a pass from Jaelyn Grommet and found the back of the net for her first goal of the season. Rolla maintained that lead for the rest of the half, though they had a late scare in the final minutes before the break, as a Parkview shot went just over the crossbar and the Lady Bulldogs were able to carry a 1-0 lead into the half.
The Lady Bulldogs kept that shutout going in the second half, though they missed out on a couple of chances to add to that 1-0 lead. Despite those missed opportunities, Rolla played strong defense to complete the shutout and finish off the 1-0 win.
"We had 10 days off, we didn't see them for 10 days. To take 10 days off and win a conference game, we needed that," said head coach Mike Howard after the game. "We just needed a little time off after that slow start. We were playing well, we just weren't getting results and I thought we played well today. We had opportunities, we changed our formation and moved some people around. At the end of the day it's a shutout and a conference win."
Coach Howard was particularly glad to see Wise break her early season scoreless slump and find the back of the net.
"It was a nice goal and I thought she played really well today," said the Rolla head coach. "The best that she's played probably so far this year."
While coach Howard was glad to get the first win of the year, he's not too worried about the Lady Bulldogs' record this early in the season. He's more focused on improved play and the results will follow.
"It doesn't get any easier, but to be honest with you, I don't worry too much about that stuff right now," said Howard on Rolla's early record. "At the end of the year, I think we'll be where we want to be."
Rolla will get right back to it on Wednesday with a trip to Helias.