On Thursday, April 22nd, The Festus Tigers Girls Varsity Soccer team took on Perryville in a grueling home match. The results were tough to swallow, as the Tigers gave up 8 goals, and failed to put any on the board themselves. The final score of 8-0 was a rough lesson for the Tigers, who knew they’d be in for a battle, as the number four power-ranked Perryville has a provenly potent offense. Head Coach Caleb Zustiak said, “We knew this would be a tough game for our developing program.”
When playing a high ranked opponent, sometimes the goal isn’t to necessarily win. Zustiak explained, “Our goals were to play strong defense and see if we could hold them and try for a counter attack goal. We were actually very successful in that we held them to one goal for the majority of the first half. Once they started scoring and figured out their rhythm, it became obvious why they are ranked so high in the state.”
Perryville scored seven goals in the first half, but only one in the second half. They had 19 shots on goal in total.
Another goal of the team was to just make it to the second half without getting “mercy ruled,” meaning a differential of 10 goals. Zustiak commented, “Playing them into the second half was a goal that we succeeded in, while many local teams haven’t even made it into the second half against this powerful Perryville team.”
One take away from the game that Zustiak noted was the performance of one of his defenders, Riley Vogel. “Vogel is continuing to develop and make a huge difference on defense. She’s playing well in the back and pulling up to support the offense along the wings.”
Despite the goals, Zustiak’s goalkeeper Mady Geiler had a nice showing. Zustiak said, “Geiler made some amazing plays in goal and was an important part of holding them for the time that we did. All players are showing improved soccer IQ and understanding of their roles on the field.”
The Tigers will learn what they can from the experience as they look to rebound from the loss. They will face Affton tomorrow night.