Building a wall: Cassville goes 351 minutes with no goal allowed

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Juliette Okel takes possession of the ball during the Lady Wildcats’ 3-0 win over Monett last week. Jared Lankford/ 

Lady Wildcats soccer flexing defensive muscle

Standing firm on the pitch and building an almost impenetrable defensive wall has allowed the Cassville girls soccer team (6-9) to be victors in four of its last five games.

It has almost been six hours — 351 minutes to be exact — since the Lady Wildcats have allowed a goal.

“Our one loss in that time was a shootout loss to Branson,” said Jake Forste, Cassville coach. “We held them scoreless for 100 minutes prior to that.”

Forste said his team had an awakening of sorts in a 1-0 loss to No. 5 ranked Springfield Catholic.

“Early on in the season, I don’t think our girls were prepared for how physical the game actually is,” Forste said. “In our first five games, we were pushed around. In the Catholic game, we were much more physical, and we proved that we could defend against anybody. Since then we have been a different team.”

On Thursday, Cassville avenged a 1-0 loss to new rival Monett with a 3-0 thrashing that saw the Lady Wildcats strike for two goals in the first 6 minutes.

“We’ve kind of found a style that we like,” Forste said. “We are pressuring the ball and countering with our attack really well right now.”

Jazmin Aguirre has scored 8 times this season to lead the Lady Wildcats, and Juliette Okel leads the team in assists with 5.

“With each game we play, we need to focus on more [ball] control and purpose,” Forste said. “Our growth hasn’t happened overnight, but we are playing our best ball as the temperatures are heating up.”

Editor's note: With Tuesday's 1-0 win on the road over McDonald County, the shutout streak has been extended to 431 minutes.

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