A storm was coming.
As the Osage Lady Indians played host to the Southern Boone Lady Eagles on Monday night, dark clouds loomed overhead, threatening to let loose at any moment.
But the gray skies were just a backdrop to the fury of the Lady Indians soccer team.
With just two matches before the district tournament, the Lady Indians were coming off of a tough loss to Sacred Heart last week, where victory was snatched from their grasp by their opponent, more by sheer luck than skill.
With Southern Boone visiting, the Lady Indians looked to send a message before entering districts.
Shutting out the Lady Eagles in a 9-0 victory was exactly the message Coach Brandon Randall hoped his team would send to future competitors.
"I was really curious as to how we would respond after the Thursday night loss to Sacred Heart," Coach Randall said. "I was very impressed to see that we came out business-like. They had a good time, but you could tell that their effort was on getting the ball in the back of the net and playing as a team."
The team got things started off early with back-to-back goals on their first two shots of the night, the first coming from Cassidy Culver as she wrestled past a defender to put the ball past the goalie. The second goal came 13 seconds later as Josie Verslues broke away from the pack, speeding down the field to take on the goalie in a one-on-one match.
Six minutes later, Culver struck again from ten yards out, and was closely followed by yet another goal, this time from Monica Cisar as the Lady Indians led 4-0 after just 20 minutes of playing time.
With 16 minutes left, Culver found the net for a third goal on the night before Randall pulled his starters to rest them and play some of the younger team members.
After the changeing of the lineup, Osage's goalkeeper Vanessa Webber recorded her first save of the night, and to the younger players' credit, they never allowed Southern Boone to score for the remainder of the half.
Leading 5-0 at the half, the Lady Indians' starters returned to the field for the second half, and Culver continued to plague the Lady Eagles' defense, scoring three more goals in the half. A goal from Verslues gave the team a 9-0 lead to win the game.
"I'm very glad that Cassidy had the night that she did," Randall said. "She obviously was dialed in. And for someone who played defense coming in to the season, I think that she has become what we hoped she would become: an offensive threat. I was impressed."
The team currently holds a 15-4 record on the season as the Lady Indians now prepare for their last game of the regular season. After resting Tuesday night, Coach Randall and the team will get back to work on Wednesday before hosting Belle on Thursday for their senior night.
Page 2 of 2 - In a previous match against Belle this season, the Lady Indians defeated Belle 6-0 on a grass field. This time, they face off on Osage's home turf, an advantage they will hold onto as they host districts next week.
When asked if he had any predictions for the upcoming match, Randall grinned, saying "I predict that we will honor our seniors."