Maryville Soccer

Senior Chiara Ghera celebrates with sophomore teammate Larissa Nitsche during a game last season.

As the Maryville girls soccer team laced up its cleats and began the 2019 season with a win over a Midland Empire Conference foe, the Spoofhounds put their best foot forward on the new campaign with large goals in mind.

After falling just short in sectional play that ended their season a year ago, the Spoofhounds (1-0) have plans for redemption when taking on the new year. Senior defender Aubrey Jones wants to leave her legacy on the program, and it all starts with success.

“I think that we can definitely reach sectionals and possibly even further due to the great freshmen we incorporated into the team,” Jones said. “I want to leave a soccer program that knows how to have fun and love what they’re doing.”

When Maryville stepped inside the chalk, took its positions, and began the season against Savannah March 19, uncertainty plagued the Spoofhounds and coach Dale Reuter.

“I feel that physically they were ready to go due to taking advantage of the time we have had inside for conditioning,” Reuter said. “This being said, running inside and running on grass is very different, so all I can be is hopeful.”

Prior to the match, the Spoofhounds had one outside practice under their belts, coming the day before. This can prove daunting to teams coming into a season with the hope of success.

After a quiet start to the first half, junior forward Morgan Pettlon struck first for the Spoofhounds in the 31st minute. Pettlon would go on to score four more for Maryville, bringing her game total to five.

Freshman forward Cleo Johnson and junior midfielder Addison Hall also contributed, scoring a goal apiece.

The Spoofhounds would go on to win their first conference match of the season in dramatic fashion by defeating Savannah 7-0 and completing the shut out.

Due to harsh weather conditions, Maryville had to be quick to locate strengths and weaknesses within the team. Not being able to practice on game surfaces has made this difficult for Reuter and his staff.

“Making those little mistakes that you wouldn’t see with more practice time outside is inevitable for us right now,” Reuter said. “We are just going to have to rely on communication and our teammates to have our backs more so now than any other time.”

Reuter and his staff are very optimistic and ready for the challenges that lie ahead when facing the upcoming soccer schedule. Although just one game into the regular season, the sixth-year coach is confident he will have his team ready when they need to be.

“I think this team will compete very well against the competition in the conference and beyond,” Reuter said. “I really like working with this select group of girls and believe they will work and compete very well together.”

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