By Scott Vanscoy (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The Glendale Lady Falcons’ season came to an end on Tuesday night in the first round of state tournament play. Glendale (10-10) fell to the Union Wildcats (20-1) by the score of 3-0. Going into the game, the Falcons were the underdog but they came out confident and ready to take on the challenge.
Glendale kept the game close throughout the first half, after allowing an early goal to freshman Emily Gaebe. Glendale had a scoring chance themselves toward the end of the half but junior Emma Miller’s shot went just wide of the goal.
“Union, overall, I think they are a good team with a special player,” said Glendale coach Jeff Rogers. “Gaebe was the difference maker today. Emma had that really good look for us at the end of the first half and just missed it. I felt like we kind of had a strategy coming in, we marked Gaebe early. I just felt like we could contain her, and we did for the most part except for right at the beginning of the second half.”
In the second half, Gaebe scored at the 38:20 mark, giving the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Glendale, however, would not stop their efforts.
“Coming out to this game I just wanted to play the best 80 minutes of my soccer career and I think I went out and did that,” said Glendale senior Mary Powell. “We didn’t win but I feel happy, leaving. I’m upset that the season is over, but it was a good game and I’m proud of myself.”
Union scored their third goal when senior Georgiana Bray headed the ball in through a cluster of players. Being down 3-0 did not deter Glendale senior Alison Hawkins.
“I’m obviously disappointed with the loss but I’m happy with the way we played,” said Hawkins. “We stopped lots of goals, we worked really hard, and I’m proud of every single girl that stepped on that field.”
Glendale’s final record of 10-10 is not a true indication of how good they really were. Freshmen trying to gel with seniors caused early season difficulties.
“The beginning of the season was a little rough,” said Powell. “We had a large amount of freshmen come in and we had a really heavy senior/freshman team, so it was hard with team dynamics and traditions; the kind of things you do to help you bond and work together on the field. That’s what we struggled with, but near the end of the season we definitely came together and improved.”
“It was rough at the beginning,” said Hawkins. “We had to figure out what players could go where. Makaela Ingemi, she joined us this year as a senior and she helped join us together from the midfield to the back. It was really interesting to see how that all played through. My role as captain was to make sure that the young players and the older players came together as one and bonded as a team. Winning our school’s tenth District title shows that we came together as a team.”
Coach Rogers knew his team was not the favorite going into tonight’s game and was proud of the way his kids battled.
“I thought our kids played well today,” said Rogers. “My captains did what they were supposed to do. They both have been four-year players for us and stepped in to leadership roles this year and had to lead some younger girls. Sometimes you look at the score, 3-0… but that header they made, it was beautiful, and their second goal was quality. We had a couple shots down there that rattled around. I think Union will do well Saturday and maybe they can make their first-ever final four and make some noise. Our record doesn’t really indicate the season we had; we play a tough schedule, but we put ourselves in this position to compete in a state sectional. Now, like we’ve done for years, we will build on this for next year. I just loved the way we played and that’s been our tradition, to just go out there and battle, and I thought we did well.”
Union 3, Glendale 0