While a 1-0 game is typically a battle between keepers, this game was really a battle between Camdenton keeper Nolan Moriearty and the Rolla offense.
The Camdenton boys’ soccer team (7-17) hosted Rolla for an Ozark Conference matchup on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Rolla dominated the contest from the opening touch, but couldn't find the back of the net until the second half in the 1-0 victory over the Lakers.
While a 1-0 game is typically a battle between keepers, this game was really a battle between Camdenton keeper Nolan Moriearty and the Rolla offense. The Bulldogs controlled the ball for nearly the entire 80 minutes of the contest, firing off a total of 21 shots to Camdenton's one shot.
Rolla subbed frequently without much of an offensive drop-off and everyone across the board had their share of looks. The Bulldogs also seemed to try to take a smarter offensive approach, rather than being overly aggressive.
In the 14th minute, Rolla should have had the lead off the foot of Jayson Ross. The senior forward worked his way deep into the keeper zone and Moriearty came out to defend him. Ross tapped the ball over Moriearty and knocked it just inside the crossbar, but the whistle for a goal never came and Rolla was still stuck with a zero on the scoreboard.
Soon after came an onslaught of corner kicks, but Rolla couldn't find the look they wanted to convert. Camdenton didn't get anything working in the Rolla zone until a free kick in the 24th minute, but Blair had an easy catch to take the ball back for the Bulldogs. Rolla turned around with a free kick of their own two minutes later and had a pair of good chances to score, but Moriearty turned both away to keep the game scoreless. Camdenton had their only shot in the 33rd minute when Josh Gerdiman launched a long shot, but he missed the net high left.
The Bulldogs were frustrated at the half and came out in the second with even more fire to find the back of the net. Rolla then had three more corners with Moriearty making some phenomenal saves.
The first corner saw the Laker keeper turn a shot away, before diving across the net to smack away a rebounded shot. Rolla didn't score on any of those corners, but they finally broke through in the 51st minute. Carson Arnold found the ball just outside the box after one of those corner kicks and worked it to Nick Janke at the top of the keeper zone. Janke fired the one shot that Moriearty couldn't get a hand on and the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead.
While Rolla didn't score again, they possessed the ball for the remainder of the half. Camdenton didn't have a single shot in the second half and the Bulldogs finished off their 20th win of the season. Drew Blair didn't have to make a single save as he added to his shutout record, bringing his total to 37. Meanwhile, Moriearty was able to turn away 14 of Rolla’s 21 shots. The shocking stat is that Rolla, a team who loves to score on restarts, had 15 corner kicks in the game and wasn't able to convert for a goal on any of them.
"Nolan has just had performance after performance like this,” Camdenton coach Mike Gow said. “He has definitely kept us in these 1-0 games that we've been putting up and he is a phenomenal goalkeeper.
We're trying to find him a place (to play collegiately) right now and he definitely deserves to go on and play if it's his desire to do that. He's been a leader for us, he's been a captain since day one, the guys all look up to him and he talks to the guys in a positive way. He's just a good guy,” the coach added.
Camdenton was scheduled for one more regular season game against Springfield Central on Thursday, but results were not available at press time. They will open districts against another tough opponent when they face Helias on Monday, Oct. 23.
"This has just been another hectic week for us. Tomorrow we have another game, so it'll be three games this week and then we have a weekend's rest and come back on Monday,” Gow pointed out. “We're hosting districts as well, so that puts a little bit more on you, because you don't want to stink it up. You wanna play well. I'm excited for the boys. They played well and Nolan stepped up and saved us."