Lady ‘Cats set sights on districts

Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Cassville’s Jasmine Brown chases down a ball after scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Monett on April 19. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Playing with width giving Cassville advantage

The road to success for the Cassville girls soccer team has been paved with touchline paint.

Jake Forste, Cassville girls soccer coach, said the Lady Wildcats (6-9) have played their best this season on the wings, helping them carry a three-game win streak into the Marshfield Invitational this week.

Emma Berndt cuts a ball back during a 1-0 win over Monett last week. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

“In just about every game, we’ve had an advantage out wide,” he said. “We’ve been consistently winning with our wingers taking on opposing fullbacks (specifically Jasmine Brown and Lexie Sanders). Using the width of the field to stretch defenses and switch the point of attack has been our biggest team strength to date.”

Brown, a goalkeeper until her senior season this year, scored the game-winner in the Lady Wildcats’ most recent win, a 1-0 battle of defenses with Monett on April 19.

“Every game, JB gets better,” Forste said. “She’s so young in her development as a field player that she grows by leaps and bounds each time she’s out there. She’s so smooth on the ball and consistently creating for herself, with 5 goals in her last four games.

Elizabeth Ray clears a ball away during last week’s win over Monett. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

“It is really fulfilling as a coach to see her take all of the little adjustments

we talk about at practice and just get out there and execute.”

While the attack has been flourishing under Brown and Sanders’ reign, the defense suffered a loss difficult to replace.

Scotlyn Richardson heads a ball out of the air during a win over Monett last week. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

“Losing Landry on the back line [for 2-4 weeks], has shuffled us up a bit back there,” Forste said. “I like the pieces we have, but any time you feature a new center back pairing, the number one thing is chemistry and the ability to play off each other. With that in mind, we have an opportunity to keep improving back there.”

The line held strong for the shutout over Monett last week, giving the Lady Wildcats a sweep of the Lady Cubs in regular season action this year.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for that Monett group,” Forste said. “They are young, and they play really hard. I think they’ve got 40 kids, and they’re only losing three. Any time we square up with them, it just doesn’t matter what the records and common opponents have been. It’s going to be a ‘futbrawl.’

“In both games, we were able to get an early advantage and just sort of ice it out from there. They are our biggest rival, and to beat them twice is a great feeling, especially for these seniors.”

The pair may meet again in coming weeks, as the Class 2, District 4 bracket sports nine teams, with 11-4 Bolivar the heavy favorite and the host.

“With nine teams, it’s hard to say where we land in the grand scheme of things,” Forste said. “I would anticipate being somewhere in the 4-5-6 range. We’ve played a couple of the likely higher-seeded teams extremely well, losing to New Covenant in penalties and playing well against Logan-Rogersville in a 2-0 defeat.

“I think if we can keep playing our best soccer and stay relatively healthy,  there isn’t a team in our district we should be afraid of.”

Cassville’s last home game is May 5 against Springfield Catholic. The district tournament runs from May 14-21.

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