Hoping to keep the momentum rolling coming off a big win on April 14th, the Festus Tigers Varsity Soccer team traveled to North County for another crucial match. Unfortunately for the Tigers, things did not go as planned. Having played five games in a row, the tired paws of the Tigers could not handle the pressure, as the team succumbed to the offensive power of North County. Festus lost the game 4-0.
Head Coach Caleb Zustiak commented on his team’s output, and said, “We played well in many ways, but a lot of our players had also participated in the JV DeSoto tournament all week and were in their fifth game in a row.” He continued, “Our Freshman class is amazing. Many of them came straight to Varsity as Freshman, so they were leg-weary at this point in the week after such hard work, especially after the comeback (overtime) win against Sullivan.”
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to fall behind. At eight minutes in, North County put a goal on the board. They added another just ten minutes later at the 18 minute mark. The score remained 2-0 at the end of one half.
Goal Keeper Mady Geiler turned away 13 shots, but it wasn’t enough to keep a clean sheet though the first 40 minutes.
Sixteen minutes into the second half, North County again tickled the twine with a goal to put them up three. At the 31 minute mark, they added the final nail in the coffin to make it 4-0, which would be the final score.
In the second half, Goal Keeper Zoe Erxleben made 17 saves, but without any offense, that meant very little.
Zustiak wrapped up his team’s performance with this comment, “Our Freshman class were our standout players in this game. They showed grit and determination to continue playing through fatigue and gave 100 percent despite heavy legs.”
One player that stood out to Zustiak was Emma Horsley. He noted, “She has developed throughout the entire season to understand her role at Defensive Midfielder and closed down space, broke up attacks and worked hard the entire game. We will miss her presence on Varsity next year.”
Horsley spoke on her play, “This was only our second game with a new formation with me as the only defensive midfielder instead of having two. I felt my position finally starting to click as I was able to really break up some passes and dribbling before they got to our defensive line. Switching to being the only defensive midfielder was scary at first because I felt the pressure in my important position, but I’ve realized it’s been very beneficial. I can both support our midfield on offense and be the first line of defense.”
The team is back in action next Tuesday, April 20th, as they will travel to St. Vincent for an away match.