[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Bruins girls’ soccer team [2-0] has kicked off its season in a dominant fashion. After coming off of a victory against Boonville last Friday 4-0, the team won their second game of the season against the Ozark High School Tigers [1-2] by a score of 7-0 at home on the chilly evening of Tuesday, March 20.
Scorers for the night include sophomore midfielder Caroline Cole, senior defender Katey Klucking, senior forward Payton McCallister, and senior midfielder Claire Cain. Cole, Klucking, and McCallister each scored twice.
Cole’s two made for her third and fourth goals of this early season. Although she switched positions this year, she is finding herself comfortable in her new spot in the center midfield.
“[Playing in the middle] is different from club, where I play forward, and from last year, when I played wide,” Cole said. “I’ve gotten really used to it and it works well for our team. It fits everyone; it fits me.”
Both of Klucking’s goals were generated off of corner kicks where the solid defender found her head or chest on the soaring ball.
“Coach had been emphasizing corner kicks in practice because last season we didn’t utilize them very well,” Klucking said. “Claire and Caroline play the perfect ball every time so it makes it easy to know where it’s going to be. I was just there at the right time.”
Despite the team’s astounding offensive show, the team’s power dwells in their defensive line, said Head Coach Gary Drewing. With a lineup of four seniors and a junior, the backline amplifies experience, and players are also developing their play for next year when the seniors leave.
“We were a team that defensively only gave up 13 goals last year,” Drewing said. “We have three varsity-level keepers; it starts in the back, and it really shows.”[note note_color=”#44d790″ text_color=”#000000″ radius=”16″]The team had an exciting post-season run last year, making it to the quarterfinal round of the MSHSAA Class 4 state tournament. [/note]
While skill is a prime factor of the team’s success thus far, Drewing also emphasizes the power of leadership on the team, both now and developing.
“Leadership is important. It drives the team,” Drewing said. “When we get into the grind of the season and we have practices that aren’t quite at the level they should be, we need our leaders and seniors to step up and take care of the underclassmen, and they need to follow that example.”
As a sophomore playing in such a significant spot, Cole has found herself in a leadership position earlier than some of her peers, but Drewing is confident in her ability to be the center focus of the team’s offense this season.
Additionally, as one of the four senior captains this year, Klucking looks forward pushing her teammates to reach their fullest potential as a group. The team’s dominance, Klucking hopes, will carry on to their next match Friday, March 23, against St. Charles in the Parkland College Showcase in St. Louis.
“Especially with freshmen playing and sophomores who are new to varsity, it’s not only my job, but the other seniors, to talk on the field discuss where we’re going to pass the ball and playing to feet,” Klucking said, “Trying to get the talk going amongst the team and trying to get everyone a little comfortable with each other is the goal right now.”