The Rolla girls soccer team hosted Southern Boone to cap off a busy week on Friday, April 19. After a strong first half, a rough 10 minute stretch in the second half buried the Lady Bulldogs 3-0.
The Lady Bulldogs controlled the first half with a number of scoring chances. They also had a great defensive half, despite having to make a major defensive shift. Evie Rodgers was out with a leg injury, so freshman Tatum Hess had to step in. Southern Boone went right after the new starter early, but she stood strong on the left side of the defense to keep Southern Boone off the board in the opening half.
The Rolla offensive push started in the 10th minute, when the Lady Bulldogs had their first corner kick of the game. Jaelyn Grommet fired a great corner, but Rolla couldn't quite finish. The same thing happened five minutes later, as Grommet's corner went just over the head of Mercedez Carpenter and the Lady Bulldogs couldn't find the back of the net. Elsa Wise added a couple of solid shots five minutes later, but one shot hit the post and the second was saved. The Lady Bulldogs had two more chances to score in the half, but couldn't finish to take a scoreless tie into the half.
The second half wasn't as kind to the Lady Bulldogs. Southern Boone had a corner in the 55th minute and scored the first goal of the game after the kick bounced off a Rolla defender into the goal. The Lady Bulldogs then shifted Kendall Mara up to forward as an attempt to turn up their offensive pressure. Southern Boone took advantage of Rolla moving their best defender up and scored goals in the 63rd and 66th minutes to finish off a 3-0 win.
"In the second half, we score a goal for them to make it 1-0 and we tried to get something going by moving Kenny up and they score two goals with Kenny playing up top," said head coach Mike Howard on the second half downfall. "A score is a score, what difference does it make? We've gotta try to figure out a way to score goals."
Rolla will open the week next week with a pair of Ozark Conference games as they try to find some rhythm offensively. The Lady Bulldogs will host West Plains on Monday, before a trip to Lebanon on Tuesday, weather permitting. They will then host Webster Groves on Friday.
"Hopefully with the teams that we're playing we can get some confidence going," said coach Howard on the slate of games to open the week. "We're certainly not playing bad, we just can't buy a break. How many posts and crossbars have we hit just in the last two days? Sooner or later, something has to go our way right? A bounce or a call, anything. Hopefully that'll happen sometime soon."