Joplin coach Ed Miller told his girls soccer team that it would take a total team effort to defeat a Carl Junction squad that advanced to the Class 2 quarterfinals last season.
The Eagles delivered with a 2-0 win over the Bulldogs on Monday at the Joplin Athletic Complex.
“I told the girls coming into the game that Carl Junction is a quality team, and it would be a good measuring stick for us,” Miller said. “The girls came out and played hard. It was a great team effort. The defense played well, and everyone bought in to what we wanted to do. I’m just real happy with our effort. We knew we’d have to play real hard to win tonight.”
Brittany Dutton gave Joplin (2-0) a 1-0 lead with an unassisted free kick in the first half. Kate Beckham helped seal the win by making an unassisted corner kick with about two minutes left in the game.
Joplin goalkeeper Megan Rowe recorded 12 saves.
“Our defense and goalie did an excellent job tonight,” Miller said. “We were able to keep most of their shots to the outside.”
Carl Junction had 13 shots on goal, and Joplin had seven in a game where players had to contend with 20-25 mph wind gusts.
Kira Wentworth had two saves for Carl Junction.
Joplin will be at home tonight against Carthage. The junior varsity game will begin at 4:30 p.m., and the varsity game will follow at 6.
McAuley girls 6, Monett 0
MONETT, Mo. — McAuley Catholic’s NCAA Division I signee Mary Street scored five goals to help the Warriors past Monett in their season opener on Monday. Street signed a letter of intent to play at Western Illinois in February.
She netted four shots in the first half, scoring in minutes 6, 16, 26 and 35. Megan Price added a goal in the eighth minute and McAuley led 5-0 at the half. Street scored again on a penalty kick in minute 44 to round out her offensive attack. Goalkeeper Katie Klunk could have made a much less potent scoring night stand up though, as she shut out the Cubs.