After getting their soccer legs under them in the first half, the Glendale Lady Falcons were ready to score some goals after the halftime break.
Sophomore Kenzie Robbins followed Kasey Opfer’s first-half goal with a hat trick in the second half as Glendale won 4-0 at Ozark on Tuesday night in its season opener.
“I told our players at halftime, ‘Usually those first few games are just shaky,’” said Glendale coach Jeff Rogers. “But the kids were doing some good things out there, making a lot of opportunities. We were able to find the back of the net (four) times.”
Robbins put the Lady Falcons up 2-0 with a score 10 minutes into the second half. She made it 3-0 just a few minutes later on a similar play.
“The two (goals) back-to-back are defensive mistakes on us, which means this: They were punched from (Glendale’s) goalkeeper. Those balls cannot bounce,” said Ozark coach Tom Davidson. “They bounced and once they bounce, they’re anybody’s ball. (Robbins) ran onto it… I mean, it was the same goal twice.
“Those mistakes we can fix.”
Robbins battled for a loose ball in front of the Ozark net in the final minute to score her third goal of the game and record her first career hat trick.
“She’s very versatile,” Rogers said of Robbins. “You can play her outside, put her in the middle, put her up top, it doesn’t matter. And she’s a good finisher.”
Glendale scored the first goal of the game with 11 minutes remaining in the first half. After a throw-in, Opfer received a pass from Drianna Raff, got by three Ozark defenders and fired a shot past goalkeeper Nikey Buzek.
“We’re expecting that type of play out of (Opfer) this season,” Rogers said.
Rogers said Glendale’s depth played a big role in the game.
“We were able to rotate kids on both sides of the field,” Rogers said. “Our kids were gassed early, but we were able to rotate some fresh legs in there and think that paid off in the second half.”
Glendale hosts Parkview on Thursday night, weather permitting. Ozark hosts Kickapoo.
“Sometimes a one-goal game can go to a three or four-goal game in a hurry,” Davidson said. “You look at it and say, ‘Man, I didn’t feel like it was a four-goal game.’ But it was, and we’ve got a lot of things we can improve on and we’re going to be a whole different team at the end of the year.”