Maryville soccer began its district soccer run on a high note after smashing first round competition.
The Spoofhounds (11-3-1) showed no signs of mercy in their first game in the Class 2 District 16 tournament after scoring 10 goals and shutting out St. Joseph-Lafayette. The Fighting Irish (2-14) did not prove to be much of a threat to the ‘Hounds in the regular season and history decided to repeat itself Oct. 23.
Senior forward Thomas DiStefano scored the opening goal of the game in the 16th minute and from that point, it was all Spoofhounds. Five different Spoofhounds were able to contribute to the win, including DiStefano with five goals, junior midfielder Jayden Hayes with two and seniors Mason Walk and Will Mattock joined junior Jaxon Pettlon all with one goal each.
“It all comes down to playing our game,” coach Dale Reuter said. “If we can go out, play our game and control the ball, I think we will be just fine throughout this tournament.”
There was skepticism about Maryville coming into the district tournament ranked as the No. 1 overall seed and it didn’t seem to bother the ‘Hounds after Tuesday’s match. But senior defender Alex Gotszling doesn’t want the confidence that is within the locker room to turn into cockiness.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to draw that fine line between cockiness and confidence,” Gotszling said. “We know we have the ability to play great and run with most teams, but we need to focus on each upcoming game like it’s the last one of the season.”
With the win on Oct. 23, the Spoofhounds await St. Joseph-Benton, who beat Savannah 5-1 in the opening round of districts. Maryville has endured scares from these two teams during the course of the 2018 conference schedule and is excited about the opportunity to play for a district championship.
While a share of the MEC conference has been obtained by the Spoofhounds for their play throughout the season, Reuter and his squad have made it evident that this feat is just the beginning of their goals.
“The boys know that the reason that they are splitting the conference championship is because they didn’t play their game against Chillicothe,” Reuter said. “The rest of their season is going to to be defined by their grit and how hard they work.”
Although Maryville has battled injuries throughout much of the season, it seems as if things are finally starting to click for the ‘Hounds just in the nick of time. For the first time all year, Maryville will go into a game with the same 11 starters it had in the opening match of the season.
“There are always going to be the little nagging injuries present that come with playing sports,” Reuter said. “But, I truly believe that we have peaked at the right time and our guys could do something special this year.”