Maryville boys soccer went to battle with Lone Jack Nov. 10 at the ’Hound Pound in the MSHSAA Class 1 quarterfinal match. The game wasn’t going to be an easy win from the start Maryville, squaring off with a traditionally tough Lone Jack program.
After taking an early lead, the Mules never looked back, winning 6-0 against the Spoofhounds, ending their season in the quarterfinals. After the game, Maryville coach Chase Tolson was upset but looked at the positive side of things.
“We are happy with the season we had and are proud of all we accomplished. There are several
things we could have done better, but mainly we are proud of the effort the guys put in today and over the course of the season,” Tolson said. “We are happy to have the playoff experience with such a young roster and expect to be back next year.”
With a youthful roster, the Maryville team is always looking for things to learn from. This is something that Tolson is convinced the athletes will learn from and use to excel in the upcoming years.
“I think the biggest thing our players will get out of this game is a good playoff experience,” Tolson said. “We started several underclassmen tonight, and to have them get this kind of experience early in their career is a great thing for our program.”
The Spoofhounds are young, and against Lone Jack, they were outmatched by an older and faster team. The Mules started nine seniors, which led to mismatches all night, propelling the Mules to the win.
“Tonight, we played a team who was bigger, faster, stronger and more experienced,” Tolson said. “I think they started nine seniors, and when you compare those guys with our freshmen, there is a massive difference physically and mentally. We need some of our younger guys to grow and gain some strength.”
Going into the matchup, the Spoofhounds had less than a week to prepare for the game. It allowed the Spoofhounds to get a much needed rest, but it wasn’t enough to get all players back to full strength. The Mules had the same week to game plan and make adjustments to prepare for the game and came out strong and healthy.
“The extra time was helpful, but we honestly needed a little bit more time,” Tolson said. “We had four starters out or playing injured today from our last game. We had a starting defender who had to sit because of a red card in the last game, and we had to fill his place with a freshman who normally plays a different position. Both of our starting strikers and one of our starting midfielders were about 75% from injuries picked up in our last game.”
A combination of not being 100% healthy, being undersized and younger than the competition and playing out of position proved to be the reasons Maryville couldn’t pull out the win against the Mules, leaving them with nothing to prepare for except next season.