The Fort Osage girls soccer team came into Thursday’s contest against Blue Springs having not allowed a single goal in four games.
The Indians scored 35 goals in those first four games and looked to continue that momentum against Wildcats. However, that momentum was halted thanks to a solid defensive effort from Blue Springs and a trio of well-placed goals in a 3-0 win at Fort Osage High School.
A couple of early attempts in the first half didn’t go in for Fort Osage as they were blocked by Blue Springs’ back line. Freshman Aliyah Ayala’s 23-yard direct free kick was snared by diving Wildcats goalkeeper Desiree Barajas.
After that save, Barajas quickly rolled the ball up field and the Wildcats quickly pushed into the Indians’ third of the field. Madyson Cates found a breakaway opportunity and had a one-on-one opportunity with Fort Osage goalkeeper Amber Lee. The Indians goalie went to challenge and got a partial block. However, Cole powered her shot through and the ball rainbowed into the goal for a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.
The Wildcats controlled possession for much of the first half, outshooting Fort Osage 7-3 (4-1 on goal). But the Indians flipped the script early in the second half when they got off four shot attempts in the first four minutes of the second half. However, three of them went just wide of the goal and one sailed about a foot over the crossbar.
After the Indians (4-1) didn’t capitalize on those chances, Blue Springs (3-4) became the opportunist. In the 47th minute, Katie Cole put on a highlight-reel worthy kick. She bombed a 32-yarder inside the upper right corner of the goal for the Wildcats’ second goal.
“She may not be able to do that ever again,” Blue Springs coach Doug McLagan said of Cole’s goal. “It’s once in a lifetime and we got it on film and she’s a senior. It was a beauty.”
Added Cole: “I was just trying to strike it as hard as I could, and it just ended up there.”
About two minutes later, Cates fed a centering pass to Katy Knudsen, who flared a kick into the upper half of the goal and over Lee’s head to break the game open.
“I got a great assist from Mady Cates and I just wanted to hit hard because I was far out,” Knudsen said. “I wasn’t aiming for right there, but it just happened to land there.”
Fort Osage managed to get off 14 shots total but wasn’t able to find the back of the net.
“I thought we played well, but they are a big, physical team,” Fort Osage coach Michael Brown said. “We didn’t do too much to get a goal and didn’t really test the goalie. I think it was a good test for us and I think we played well for the most part.”
A lot of that had to do with the Wildcats’ defense and Barajas.
“We just defended well today, all 11 on the field,” McLagan said. “Desiree made a couple of good saves.
“We played on a grass field, which we’re not used to. We played a little more direct. We didn’t play a lot of pretty soccer but we came out, scrapped and got a victory.”
“We’re playing more as a team and talking more,” she said. “It’s nice to see everyone come together this early in the season because we still have a long ways to go.”