The Camdenton Lady Lakers traveled to Waynesville for a Friday match-up as part of the annual Waynesville Tournament, and it didn't take long into the first match of the season for the Camdenton Lady Lakers to demonstrate their scoring abilities.
In their season debut against Fatima, sophomore Bri Bullock received a pass from senior forward Miriam Taylor and buried a shot in the back of the net, just three minutes into the game. Less than a minute after Bullock's goal, junior forward Danica Brewer scored a tap-in goal off a pass from senior midfielder Megan Weber.
Senior forward and Camdenton's career leading goal scorer Miriam Taylor got into the scoring column just five minutes into the contest from a through ball played by sophomore midfielder Madison Henry giving the Lady Lakers a 3-0 lead early in the contest.
"I think the team was just excited that we were actually playing soccer on a nice day," said Camdenton coach J.D. Hunter. "We were moving the ball well and finding feet and getting chances. It was a great way to start the season."
Camdenton went on to win the match 8-0 with goals coming from Miriam Taylor and Danica Brewer who each finished with a hat trick. Junior Whitney Snow had one goal as well as Bri Bullock.
Taylor also had 3 assists in the contest gives her 70 career assists and she is now only 3 assists away from tying the all-time career assist leaders at Camdenton of 73 (Haley Baker '11 & Lindsey Vize '02).
"Miriam has worked hard in the off-season to become a better player and to see her hit the ground running was great," Coach Hunter said. "Everyone knows she's fast and can score; few people realize just what an outstanding passer she is as well."
Saturday's match pitted the Lady Lakers against Columbia Hickman and Hickman, fresh off a victory against Waynesville the night before in a penalty kick shootout, presented Camdenton with a whole new set of challenges to face.
Though young, the Lady Kewpies showed much maturity and patience as they stopped one attack after another of the Lady Lakers.
"I was impressed with how hard we came out to play in the first half," said Coach Hunter. "We were controlling the midfielder pretty well, I felt, and we were getting in on their defenders, but we just weren't finding the back of the nets like we should have. Hats off to their game plan and their defenders work ethics though."
Camdenton's three defenders held their own as well as did Camdenton freshman goalie Hanna Lowther.
"Our backs really came together on Saturday and worked well with our midfielders and all in all, it was a fun, fun contest," Hunter said.
Even though Camdenton failed to score in the first half, Hickman did not end up with one quality shot in the first half and the score at the break remained 0-0.
Page 2 of 2 - "We all knew that this match was more than likely going to be a 1-0 type of game and that one mistake by either team would probably be the difference."
Unfortunately, the Lady Lakers were the first to make the mistake as with 17 minutes left in the contest, Hickman freshman Kelsey Mirts got free on a breakaway and was able to score after getting past Camdenton's defenders and goalie.
"We had players diving in a few times on that one play and the goal actually started about 50 yards away when we got out of position a little. It happens. Mirts is a talented freshman and earned a nice goal," Coach Hunter said. "Both teams worked incredibly hard all match long and you know, you hate losing those types of games, but you sure learn a great deal from those sort of matches. I was pleased with how the team did not quit and was in it all the way to the final whistle."
Camdenton did have several chances to tie the score up in the final fifteen minutes, but Mirts' goal proved to be the game winner as the Lady Lakers fell to 1-1-0 on the young season.
"I think as a team we gave as good as we got on Saturday against a very talented Hickman team. It was a physical contest and both teams played with speed and heart and hustle," Hunter said. "You hate the outcome for the players' sake, but we were able to take so much from the game as a whole that I walked off the field very pleased with our efforts."