Affirming that their third place finish in the Metro East Cup to start the season was no fluke, the OTHS girls soccer team continued to roll up victories in their first week of regular season play.
The Panther booters improved to 4-1-1 with triumphs over Marion and Belleville Althoff and a tie against St. Louis power Nerinx Hall before beginning Southwestern Conference action against the Alton Redbirds.
O’Fallon’s opening regular season match against the Marion Wildcats featured dominating defensive play and effective offense which produced a 3-1 victory. Gabby Goerke, Sam Stutsman and Tori Weiss scored the O’Fallon goals with Goerke and Tamia Cash supplying the assists. OTHS goal-keeper Sydney Brake turned back four shots. The Panthers built a 2-0 lead during the first half and continued to stymie Marion offensively in the second half to collect their third win.
Belleville Althoff was the next opponent on the OTHS hit list—victory number four for 2015. Goalkeeper Sydney Brake was again exceptional—this time stopping six shots enroute to recording the shutout. O’Fallon scored a goal in each half with Cash giving the Panthers all the offense they would need with a first half game-winner. Senior Taylor Signore provided the insurance goal in the second half. The overall defensive effort of the Panthers drew positive reviews from O’Fallon coach Craig Dippel.
“The team has shown a lot of poise and a strong effort in our first set of games,” Dippel said. “We have faced teams who all have used different offensive formations against us, yet our kids have adapted and reacted in a positive way.”
The O’Fallon girls completed their successful first week with a road game against Nerinx Hall and came away from the fray relatively unscathed, battling the perennial Missouri power to a 0-0 draw. Having to adjust to yet another offensive approach, the OTHS booters matched Nerinx Hall in aggressiveness and determination. The defense again came up big for the Panthers as Brake rejected seven shots on goal to record her second straight shutout.
The OTHS offense found it equally difficult to build a sustained attack. Goerke led the Panthers with two shots on goal, but O’Fallon could only manage a total of four during the game.