Lady ‘Cats second in soccer Classic

Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Cassville’s Jhandi Shears brings down a ball during a game against Monett Saturday. Kyle Troutman/

Cassville bests Aurora, Monett in tourney action

It was a trophy raised, but not necessarily the one the Lady Wildcats wanted.

After a 3-1 win over Aurora on Friday and a 2-1 victory over Monett Saturday morning, the Cassville girls soccer team set up to play Branson for the championship of the Lady Wildcats Soccer Classic. However, a tournament title was not in the cards, as Cassville fell in the game, 4-0.

Cassville’s Landry Parnell dribbles a ball up field in a counter-attack against Monett on Saturday. Kyle Troutman/

“Our goal for this tournament was to be playing for first place in the final game, which we were able to do,” said Jake Forste, Cassville soccer coach. “That Branson team is rock solid. They were 16-5 last year with a majority of starters back. We wanted to limit mistakes and play a clean game, but a few early mistakes put us in an early hole that we weren’t able to come back from.”

The tournament was the first true taste of action for the Lady Wildcats this season, having earned 1-0 wins over Aurora and McDonald County in a jamboree on Thursday.

“I was happy to see us be the aggressor in both games and outshoot our opponents 17-0 and 7-3,” Forste said. “Freshman Gracen Hilburn came on to score both goals on the night.”

Jhandi Shears, right, leaps into the arms of teammate Emma Berndt after Berndt scored a goal from the pair’s corner kick play against Monett on Saturday. Kyle Troutman/

Forste said the team adjusted well to the full-game scenario, even coming back from a deficit in the first contest.

“We were down 1-0 at the half against Aurora,” he said. “We outshot Aurora 10-2 in the first half, but an unfortunate counter-attack with a few defensive mistakes in transition gave them the early lead. At halftime, we talked about how we needed to do a bit better job placing our shots and making the most of our opportunities.

“In the second half, we did just that, rallying for three goals in the first 20 minutes. Two goals and an assist from senior Lexie Sanders led the way, with another goal and assist by sophomore Emma Berndt (remaining assist by sophomore Audrey Gosvener).”

Cassville’s Emilee Mann clears a ball for the Lady Wildcats in a game against Monett Saturday. Kyle Troutman/

After not converting early chances in the Friday night game, Forste put an emphasis on scoring against Monett Saturday morning.

“We wanted to come out to a fast start in this one,” he said. “We did just that, scoring two goals in the first 20 minutes. Sanders got us started, with Berndt scoring the second off a well-executed corner kick. Both assists were from senior Jhandi Shears. An early second-half goal from Monett made it an intense final 20 minutes of play.”

Cassville returns to action on Thursday, traveling to New Covenant Academy.

The Cassville Classic All-Tournament Team includes:

Ava Marti — Branson, D

Briley Efird — Branson, M

Chloe Grimm — Branson, F

Sadie Lampe — Branson , D/M

Emma Berndt — Cassville, M (2 goals, 1 assist)

Lexie Sanders — Cassville, F (3 goals, 1 assist)

Jhandi Shears — Cassville, M (2 assists)

Anahi Aguirre — Monett, M

Deleny Rueda, Monett, F

Jacey Lee — Aurora, GK

Isabella Maggio— Aurora, D

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