Waynesville gets to an even 4-4 in the Ozark Conference with a win over West Plains on Tuesday
WAYNESVILLE — Two times this season the Waynesville girls soccer team (8-13, 4-4 in Ozark Conference) has played West Plains (0-18) and two times now they have won by mercy rule.
Tuesday was the latest 10-0 blowout, on senior night for the Lady Tigers in Waynesville.
All five of the Waynesville seniors got to play significant minutes in the tilted match.
“For a senior night game it was pretty good,” Gow said. “We got everybody in in the first half, everybody had a good time. I let the seniors pick where they were going to play.”
The Lady Tigers had already built a 3-0 lead in that first half, with senior Elizabeth Sisson receiving a cross in the box and punching the ball in for a goal less than 3 minutes into the game.
Senior Jessica Schellhase dribbled into the box, beating defenders to the goal, and fired a shot into the top left for the second goal.
Then, a beautiful pass from Megan Morgan, who was wide right on the goal-line, found junior Taylor Winking out in front of the goal. Winking promptly kicked the ball top shelf for the final goal of the half with 21:06 left on the clock.
About four minutes into the second half junior Haley Reckard turned the heat back up for Waynesville's offense. Off an assist from Sisson, she brought the ball up in front of the goal, waited for the goalkeeper to commit and touched the ball into the bottom right of the goal to make it 4-0 Tigers.
Next, Schellhase and Sisson teamed up on a corner kick. Schellhase got the volley off the corner for the fifth Tiger goal, and her second of the night.
With 23:51 remaining in the game, another beautiful piece of teamwork led to a score.
Senior Kaley Caracci crossed a pass in front of the goal to junior Camia Blash who nudged it in.
Gow couldn't have drew it up better.
“Caracci does exactly what we work on in practice, she brings the ball down there, gets that keeper to fully commit to her, she's almost in the net, but she pushes it across and Camia is able to tap it in the open net essentially,” Gow said.
Sisson tried for her second goal of the night about three minutes later , but it took a turn off-target.
Lucky for her, she got the next best thing — an assist.
Blash stuck her leg out and deflected it into goal, her second score of the game and Sisson's third assist of the match.
Even though they were up 7-0, Waynesville kept the pressure on.
At about the 21st minute of the second half a shot on goal was saved by the Lady Zizzers' keeper, but the ball continued to bounce around in traffic.
Schellhase got her foot on it and put it back in for her third goal. Tuesday's hat trick was her sixth of the season and gave her 22 goals on the season.
After the game, she spoke about her feelings on senior night.
“It's really emotional considering I just moved here,” Schellhase said. “I've gotten so close to all these girls. The support their giving me, coming in new this year, is unbelievable. I'm glad I got to share it with all these girls because they're great.”
She said that the 22 goals weren't just a team high for the season, it is a career high for her. Her next highest total is 18.
Her final goal of the night was number eight for the Tigers.
Winking made it 9-0 with 8:56 remaining in the game with a shot from about 20-yards out.
Then, Reckard hit the mercy-rule goal with a shot from 8-yards out.
Schellhase said she's glad to see the team beginning to hit their stride this late in the season.
“With everyone coming back, especially Megan Morgan, Emily Lucitt and Erin White just got cleared,” Schellhase said. “It's going to be a big help considering we have a tough game on Friday against Jeff City and then we have Glendale and [Springfield] Catholic. We've been struggling a little bit, but we can definitely do something big if we all work together.”
The win puts the Lady Tigers at an even 4-4 in the Ozark Conference. They have one more Conference game on Monday, against Glendale. Gow said the consequences of that game are big.
“A win with Glendale will put us over .500 in the Conference, which would be a nice place to be,” Gow said. “It's all about getting yourself in a position in districts where you have a chance to get out and into that championship game. We just have to show the coaches that we're playing that we deserve to be seeded higher than the team that we want behind us.”
It's a mindset thing for the girls too.
“If you come out and play well after struggling a little bit, I think it might give a psychological boost to the kids,” Gow said. “Start believing they can do something good against a good quality team.”
Which will be what they will be playing from this day forward.