A true see-saw girls soccer battle ended in Waynesville's demise Tuesday as Rolla netted two consecutive scores to earn a 2-1 victory.
WAYNESVILLE – A true see-saw girls soccer battle ended in Waynesville's demise Tuesday as Rolla netted two consecutive scores to earn a 2-1 victory.
The Lady Tigers controlled possession until the 12-minute mark before Rolla finally settled in on defense at midfield to gain possession for the following nine minutes.
Each team traded shots before Waynesville struck first as Camia Blash (So.) pushed a shot from the right of the goal passed the Rolla keeper to take a 1-0 lead, which lasted until the buzzer.
The slight halftime edge seemed comfortable, although Waynesville coach Mike Gow said his team missed several scoring chances in the first period.
"We had some opportunities in the first half that we probably should've had a finish on," Gow said after the game. "If we don't take advantage of those early opportunities, they always come back to get [us] later in the game."
In the second half Rolla retorted by capitalized on its scoring opportunities. Near the 8-minute mark the Lady Bulldogs' Nicole Howard nailed a shot from the top of the keeper's box over Waynesville's Lesley Larson to tie the contest at 1-all.
"[Howard] is a good player," Gow said. "We gave her that nice clean look at the top of the 18 and she drilled it."
From that point, Rolla took control of the contest, allowing Howard to score her second goal of the night, this time on an easy breakaway with 24:30 remaining.
Waynesville had two late opportunities on senior Rhiannon Moore's shots – one of the shot attempts appeared to shake the top of the net, but the referee ruled it a save – but each was rescued by the Rolla keeper.
Howard's second goal eventually proved to be the game-winner as Rolla finished with a 2-1 victory.
Throughout the course of the contest, Gow changed formations to try and prohibit the Rolla offense from scoring.
"I really do believe that we have a great back line," Gow explained. "I thought we handled [Howard] well, we were just unfortunate to give her [two] clean looks and she took [them]."
Despite the loss, Gow said he notices continual improvement from the Lady Tigers' underclassmen each game, and also the motivation by the team's seniors.
"I've been involved with teams in the past where a game like this would've brought out some ill feelings, but the girls just stayed there for each other and kept playing hard," Gow said.
Next up for Waynesville is the West Plains tournament, which begins Friday against Liberty (Mountain View, Mo.) with another game scheduled for Saturday.
"It'll be a good weekend," Gow said – especially if his Lady Tigers can respond to Tuesday's tough loss.