The Rolla girls soccer team (6-6-3, 4-1 OC) hosted West Plains for an Ozark Conference matchup on Monday, April 22. The Lady Bulldogs found a much needed scoring punch, nearly tripling their previous season high in goals on the way to an 8-0 win.
Rolla entered their matchup against West Plains having scored just 13 goals on the season. That changed real quickly, as they netted three goals in the first five minutes of the game. Elsa Wise kicked off the scoring in the third minute, before Eliana Stanislawski scored in the fourth minute off an assist from Mercedez Carpenter. Wise then scored in the fifth minute off a pass from Stanislawski to quickly push the lead to 3-0.
After slowing down the first-half pace for a bit, Kendall Mara was able to score on a header thanks to a serve from Wise on a corner kick in the 13th minute. Tatum Hess then found the back of the net in the 25th minute to extend the lead to 5-0. Wise then finished off her hat trick before the half, as Rolla went into the break with a commanding 6-0.
Rolla's JV players finished off the first half, before splitting time with the varsity players in the second half. Mara was pushed up from the defense to play forward for most of the second half and kept her scoring momentum going. She netted her second goal of the game in the 63rd minute, before finishing off her hat trick in the final minute of the game, finishing off an 8-0 win. Head coach Mike Howard hopes the eight goal explosion helps give his team the confidence boost they need to spark their offense for the rest of the season.
"I hope so. We got eight tonight and the most we scored before this was three. We probably doubled our season total tonight, so that was nice," said coach Howard on the win giving the girls a confidence booster. "Plus we were able to let everybody play a lot. Our JV players played over half that game. It was a good night for us."
Rolla was able to find that offense despite missing several starters. Abby Turner is still sidelined with a concussion, but she was joined by Evie Rodgers and Jaelyn Grommet on the bench with injuries. Carlee McCormack was also sidelined for most of the game with a foot injury. Coach Howard thinks that giving his team a little bit of rest, while also giving some bench players some experience isn't a bad thing.
"It's mainly just rest, what'd we have Jaelyn sitting out, Evie sitting out, Abby sitting out, Carlee sat out. That's four starters right there," said coach Howard. "We get through tomorrow, give them Wednesday off, have a good practice Thursday and then Webster Groves comes to town. Hopefully we'll be ready for that late push against Kickapoo and Glendale next week."
The Lady Bulldogs followed the win with a trip to Lebanon on Tuesday, but results from that game were not available at press time. The Bulldogs host Webster Groves for their next game on Friday.