In the end, Glendale avoided the upset with a late penalty kick goal to win 1-0.
“I give Kickapoo credit,” said Glendale coach Jeff Rogers. “I think they came out and played. We moved the ball well. Finishing this time of year is difficult. Our shot selections weren’t the best. A win is a win. Now, a loss is a season-ender. We are focused now on next Tuesday and the start of districts.”
The two sides went back and forth in the first 40 minutes, with most of the play coming in the middle of the field. Kickapoo and Glendale work hard to get past the defenders to put a shot on goal. Frustration was evident in both the players and the crowd as the first half ended 0-0.
The Lady Falcons took control of the second half, moved the ball well and attacked the goal. Glendale was unable to score, until Kasey Opfer put in a PK with 19 minutes left in the game. Kickapoo was unable to capitalize on their final scoring chances. Glendale walked away with the win, 1-0.
“I thought our kids battled and played well,” said Kickapoo coach Phil Hodge. “We struggle to play a full 80 minutes. I thought we did that tonight. I feel like we are peaking at the right time of the year. It has been a bumpy road to this point, but this is the time to play well and I think we are doing that. Miriam Melugin is still out, we have another one out with a concussion and one with an ankle injury. We hope to have them back by next Tuesday.”
Glendale is the top seed in Class 3, District 11 at Nixa High School and faces Branson in the semifinals on May 14 at 5 p.m. The winner of that game will face either Nixa or Ozark in the district finals at 6 p.m. May 16.
Kickapoo is the host school for its Class 3, District 12 tournament. The Lady Chiefs open with Joplin on May 14 at 5 p.m. Parkview or Springfield Central await in the district finals, set for 6 p.m. on May 17.