After a hot 3-0 start, the William Chrisman girls soccer team cooled off a bit, going 3-3 in its last six games, including losing two straight going into Monday’s contest against Grandview.
In their last two games, the Bears lost to Fort Osage and Staley by a combined score of 9-1.
They were able to get back on track against a struggling Bulldog team with a 10-0 mercy-rule victory at Independence All-School Stadium.
Playing a team like Grandview allowed Chrisman to play free and relaxed as it got off 23 of its 37 shots in the first 20 minutes of the game. In fact, the Bears were so dominant, Grandview never once possessed the ball on the Bears’ third of the field.
The matchup allowed Chrisman to work on possessing the ball and passing, something it struggled with the past couple of games.
“We had a lot of good passes,” Chrisman junior midfielder Celeste Cummins said. “We focused our shooting more to the outside posts instead of near. But overall, we played really good.”
It also made Chrisman coach John Straub comfortable enough to flip flop players back and forth between the midfield and up top. At one point, defender Abby Bauman even got to play as a forward.
“We have a challenging week coming up, so it was nice to get this game in,” Straub said. “It was kind of nice to relax and play after our last two games. We’ve got to get back to enjoying what we’re doing.”
The Bears (6-3) scored nine goals in the first half and one early in the second to end the game by mercy-rule. Rylee LaRoche notched her first hat trick of the season as she scored four goals to pace the offense.
“We were confident, but we had to make sure we weren’t too cocky and that we had our heads in the game,” LaRoche said. “I felt good out there. I felt confident in my shots. They were good hits.”
Added Straub: “Rylee has a nose for the goal. She is one of our better players at reading the game. She was nice and composed on her shots. She didn’t force anything.
Celeste Cummins and Adreal Bell both had two goals; and Tierra Lopez and Bauman each had one.
Straub and his players believe this win can help them get some momentum with some tough games coming up against Fort Osage and Kearney.
“We’ve played really good this season and have kept our energy up in all of our games,” Cummins said.