By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor
CARL JUNCTION, Mo. —
For most of the match, Carl Junction’s soccer team was on the attack.
The Bulldogs fired 20 shots on goal — 11 in the second half — while Republic managed only one shot in each half.
However, both of the Tigers’ shots found the back of the net, and second-seeded Republic slipped past third-seeded Carl Junction 2-1 Wednesday night in the semifinals of the Class 2 District 11 tournament at Bulldog Stadium.
Sophomores Sierra Casagrand and Sara Marcotte scored Republic’s goals, and senior Amanda Snider, who plans to pitch softball for Concordia (Neb.) College, was outstanding in goal, registering 23 saves.
“She was lights out,” Tigers coach Mike Hines said. “She started playing soccer last season. She’s athletic, we taught her to do just a few things, and she played phenomenal.”
Many of the Bulldogs’ best scoring chances came during the final 28 minutes. Sophomore Taylor Beck, senior Kelsey Swarens and freshman Sydney Solberg peppered Snider with shots from the right side, but she was in position to make the save.
“We changed second half. We tried spreading them out and it worked,” Bulldogs coach Kevin Hauck said. “Their goalie was there every time, every time. We had some good shots on goal, and the keeper made some good saves. If we would have hit them a little more backside, I think we would have been able to get them, but unfortunately a couple of them were right in the middle to her.”
Carl Junction (16-7) scored on Swarens’ penalty kick with five minutes left, but the Bulldogs couldn’t get the equalizer.
Republic (15-9) had zero offensive chances for the first 34 minutes when all of a sudden, Casagrand drilled a shot from 25 yards out in the middle of the field that sailed over the goalie’s head and into the net.
Marcotte’s goal with nine minutes left came from about 10 yards out.
“Carl Junction plays tough, and they always bring it,” Hines said. “We knew it was going to be a physical match, and what I told Sara and Sierra on the bus ride down and in practice yesterday and practice the day before was you have to finish your opportunities because we’re not going to get very many. And that’s what they did.”
“It was really tough,” Hauck said. “We possessed the ball most of the time. We didn’t finish and they did.
“Their first goal, we had someone in front, and she just put a great hit on the ball. There was nothing we could do about it really. They put a great hit on it. The second goal, they played the ball really quick, and our line didn’t drop quick enough. They kind of caught us off guard.”
Republic plays top-seeded Rogersville (15-8), a 3-0 winner over Marshfield in the first semifinal, for the district title at 6 p.m. Friday. Republic beat Rogersville 3-1 early in the season.