After a strong showing at the Excelsior Springs tournament, Maryville soccer hopes to carry the winning momentum into conference play.
In a non-conference duel against conference opponent Chillicothe High School, the Hornets proved to be no match for the Spoofhounds. In the 2-0 lopsided victory, the ‘Hounds started the game expecting a win, and their expectations were met when the final whistle blew.
The second game of the double-header that Maryville had to tackle on Sept. 8 was against a Excelsior Springs roster that is better than their record suggests. Ninety minutes with an overtime period wasn’t enough for these two squads to decide a victor, so penalty kicks were to come.
After Excelsior Springs knocked in their first penalty shot, it was all Spoofhounds. Sophomore Hunter Johnson had a key penalty kick save while in goal and ultimately was the deciding factor in the win for the ‘Hounds.
“The boys stepped up this weekend and did an outstanding job,” coach Dale Reuter said. “We started off a little sketchy to begin with in the Chillicothe game, but the kids fought back and I was very pleased with their heart and effort throughout the tournament.”
The few struggles that were presented from the Spoofhounds came from the back-to-back gameplay that was expected from them. They received just a 45 minute rest period before getting back on the turf and squaring off against the fresh legs of Excelsior Springs.
“We had to ask some of the younger players to step up and refresh starters at key points,” Reuter said. “But I couldn’t be more pleased with the performance these guys had with the adversity at hand. They responded well and played as a team.”
Even with all of the games that the ‘Hounds are putting in the win column, they don’t plan on looking past any opponent. Each one brings certain skills to the table and Maryville wants to give each team they face a good look.
“It’s all about determination and coming out every day and trying to get better,” senior Tyson Arnold said. “When we come together, work hard at every practice and focus on the next game at hand, I think we have an opportunity to do something special.”
Team chemistry has always played a vital role in the organization of the roster for the Spoofhounds. Coach Reuter has repeatedly said that it is very hard to win when you don’t have guys that are willing to play and cheer for each other, and this is very high on his priorities list when coaching high school athletes.
Reuter’s instilled beliefs have resulted in the building of a successful soccer program for Maryville.
“Even though this is my first year going out for the team, this is the most I have ever seen a team come together,” Arnold said. “I have played baseball all three years, and hopefully I can bring this teamwork and compatibility that I see out here to the baseball team in the spring.”
Maryville’s next test will come in the form of a home match on Sept. 13 against Bishop LeBlond High School. The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.