Camdenton, Mo. – The long-awaited clash between the Lady Indians and Lady Lakers finally took place on the soccer field on Friday night.
The two lake area teams both came on the field without any losses this season, but both squads knew one was walking away with their record untarnished.
The other would leave with their first loss.
The differences between the two teams is as varied as the strength of their schedules up to that point or the difference in class sizes.
Camdenton's program is at the height of its existence, as it has been existence for more than three times as long as the Osage girls' program.
Camdenton's record, entering the game, sat at three wins and a tie, a sidenote on their record, really. Osage was coming off of two wins against district opponents, who proved to be easy fare for the returning district champs.
But in the matchup between the Class 1 Indians and the Class 3 Lady Lakers, it was obvious that Camdenton had the upper hand, which led them to a 6-0 shutout over the Lady Indians.
"They've got a lot of talent, and they're young and feisty," Coach J.D. Hunter said of Osage after the game. "They do so many things well, and I think it's just the difference in class sizes. I love how they play that 4-4-2, and they had a gameplan that they implemented and followed through with. The thing that helped us, besides our depth, was that Whitney was on the money. But I think they do everything right, and have a bright future. I wish them the best, and hope they go all the way to the finals this year."
Led by senior Whitney Snow with three goals, the Lady Lakers dominated their younger lake area counterpart in just about every aspect of the game.
It took the Lady Lakers just six minutes of play to score, as Morgan Henry found Bri Bullock with a pass, which Bullock promptly crossed into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Bullock's goal technically was the game-winning goal, as the Camdenton defense never allowed a goal from the Osage team.
Snow added on two more scores before the half, both of them being prime examples of being in the right place at the right time.
Osage's keeper, Vanessa Webber, battled with the drizzle all night, working with the slick ball, but the two times when the ball slipped out of Webber's hands, Snow was nearby, and promptly made the kicks around Osage's goalie to give the Lady Lakers a 3-0 lead at the half.
After making some adjustments at half time, the Osage Lady Indians looked to put up more of a fight, and it seemed as if they might bounce back, as the defense denied Camdenton's shot for almost 15 minutes in the second half, including an excellent play in the net by Webber, denying Snow's long shot by punching the ball up and over the net.
After 14 minutes of play, though, the Osage stand finally fell through, as Nicole Amerine found herself in the open field with the ball, drawing out Webber and the Osage defense before nailing a shot across the net, scoring her first varsity goal.
At 21:51, Snow scored her final one of the game for a hat trick for a 5-0 Camdenton lead.
Camdenton would score one more time after that, as Karissa Lembke also scored her first varsity goal, which gave the game the final score of 6-0, Camdenton.
Camdenton's backfield proved troublesome for Osage's front, locking everything down exactly when they needed to, allowing few shots by the Osage team, but the aggressive play up front kept the ball in Osage's half for the majority of the game.
"We've got two freshmen and a brand new sweeper with Grace Scheidemantle, and then Allison Smith playing center back, and they're very calm," Coach Hunter said. "Grace is awesome at sweeper because she doesn't get worked up, and I'm very pleased with their development. Top to bottom, this is one of the better 22-player team rosters we've ever had."
Bullock's goal, while being the game-winner, was also the 1,200th goal scored by the Lady Lakers since the team began all of those years ago.
Snow is already on pace to a fantastic season for the Lady Lakers, as she has already scored 12 goals in the first five games.
"It's not like we do anything about it, she just does it," Hunter said. "But the thing about Whitney, and we saw it at the end, is that she's happy to pass the ball, happy to get rid of it. Her and Morgan are both unselfish, and Whitney's role has changed slightly. She could have been doing this all four years if she wanted to. I'll be honest, it's nice having Morgan and Whitney, because you're always in the game."
Next up for the Lady Lakers is Marshfield on Tuesday and then a match against Jefferson City on Thursday. One has to think that the Lady Lakers have not forgotten the district game against Jefferson City last season, so it has all of the makings of another good matchup.
For Osage, it has exposed some things to work on, which Coach Angie Libby said the team will work on going forward.
"This game was learning experience, and I'm glad we had it, especially in the beginning of the season," Coach Angie Libby said after the game. "I can say, defensively especially, that in the first half, we had to make a few adjustments to their style of play, and in the beginning of the second half, we did very well. I could tell we got tired at the end of the second half, so stamina and transition will be our main thing to work on."
Osage will look to get back on track with another road game at Stover on Monday before playing their first home game of the season against Fatima on Tuesday night.