Fort Osage girls soccer coach Andrew Fletcher sensed there was something different about Fort Osage’s 3-0 win Thursday night over visiting William Chrisman than the Indians’ other wins this season.
“Tonight was what I call a complete performance,” Fletcher said after the Suburban Middle Seven victory. “We’ve played well at times in every game we’ve played, but we’ve also done poor things.”
Fletcher told his players Wednesday there were many phases of the game where they could improve, he said. He said that Fort Osage met his challenge to improve Thursday.
“We passed the ball around,” Fletcher said. “We dominated possession.”
Sophomore defender Bayleigh Ledbetter also said the Indians (8-1 overall, 6-0 Suburban Middle Seven) played a complete ballgame.
“Most games, we are not well-rounded – and we did very well this game with keeping up our pace,” Ledbetter said.
Ledbetter sparked the offensive portion of Fort Osage’s well-rounded outing by finishing Leigh-Anne Bartlett’s touch pass in the eighth minute. The ball was “pretty much” perfectly placed, Ledbetter said.
“She’s pretty good at getting her passes perfect,” she said.
After having a goal waved off in the 37th minute for an offside call, the Indians made it 2-0 in the 38th minute on Marina’s Rios’ goal. Fletcher attributed the goal to a combination of hard work and talent.
“They had a goal kick and Marina closed the defender down, won the ball – and we won the ball high up the field, and then it (created) a goal-scoring opportunity,” he said.
Aspen O’Neal’s goal in the 73rd minute finished the scoring in Fort Osage’s seventh straight win. It also was part of a second half in which Fort Osage outshot Chrisman 14-3 overall, including 9-0 on goal.
One reason Fort Osage didn’t finish more scoring chances was Chrisman (4-4, 1-3) goalkeeper Jordyn Atagi, who made seven saves – all of them during the second half.
“We really believe that Jordyn is one of the best keepers in the metropolitan area,” Bears coach John Straub said. “She has had an incredible season so far – and we expect, with her ... each game she will continue to play better and better.”
As for his team’s overall performance, Straub’s review differed from the one Fletcher gave Fort Osage.
“I think when we slowed the game down, we were able to possess the ball a little bit,” said Straub, whose club dropped to 4-4 and 0-3. “Sometimes, we get a little too anxious to go forward, and we have looked better.”
No doubt, Fletcher hopes the Indians can repeat Thursday’s “complete performance” next Tuesday, when they face Staley. According to MSHSAA’s web site, the Falcons were 8-5 overall after Thursday’s home win over St. Joseph Central. They, too, are undefeated in league play.
“If we can go to Staley and win, it will give us a little bit of breathing room (in conference),” he said. “The goal for these guys is to win a conference (title). We’ll shoot for this year.”