The Lakers hosted a Rolla team they had beaten earlier this season after a hard-fought scoreless 100 minutes resulted in Camdenton taking the penalty kick shootout in an Ozark Conference showdown. This time, the Bulldogs had other plans in a 2-0 shutout that delivered a district title to the visitors.

Camdenton met a familiar foe in the championship game of the Class 3 District 10 Tournament Wednesday night. 

The Lakers hosted a Rolla team they had beaten earlier this season after a hard-fought scoreless 100 minutes resulted in Camdenton taking the penalty kick shootout in an Ozark Conference showdown. This time, the Bulldogs had other plans in a 2-0 shutout that delivered a district title to the visitors.

“We knew Rolla was going to be tough. I know Coach (Mike) Howard is smart and he is going to pull different things,” Camdenton coach Chris Byington said. “You just have to give it to them tonight. I think they kind of outplayed us in certain areas we were hoping to gain from them, but it is one of those things. Season-enders always suck, but on the bright side of it, too, you have to tell the girls that it is moments like this you coach as well because sometimes you give everything you have and still don’t get the result you hope for. That is life and that is why we are here.” 

Rolla dictated a majority of the tempo in the first half as Camdenton did not get its first good look until about the 30th minute. By that time, the Bulldogs already had three shots and set pieces in the form of corner kicks or free kicks. 

Not long after, Rolla found the back of the net in the 36th minute just four minutes before halftime.

“You are down 1-0 and you have to crack away at it,” Byington said of the momentum shift. “It is every minute you get after it and build upon it.

“Give it to Rolla, they outplayed us in certain points this game and it cost us. That first goal I think hurt us pretty bad too because that was right at the very end of the half.” 

Camdenton had just one shot in the first half, but there were a few other opportunities in the final 40 minutes as Aeryn Kennedy forced a diving save from the Rolla keeper in the 47th minute while a free kick in the 61st went wide right and another free kick went just outside the post in the 65th for the junior. Ultimately, nothing found its mark. 

“Overall on the season we are 1-1 with them (Rolla) and it was not our night, but I’m super proud of the girls,” Byington stated. 

The coach also took some time to commend a senior class that, “led the team well.” 

“I love this senior class. I’ve seen them grow up and I’m super excited to see where they go,” he said. “I know some girls are playing after high school in different sports.”

Camdenton’s 2019 campaign ends at 11-12-1 and there is nothing easy about what proves to be the final game when the clock hits zero, but Byington said that is no reason to be discouraged as the work begins for 2020.

“Sometimes you give it everything you have and yet you still may come up short and that is ok. You roll on,” he remarked. “There is going to be another day you wake up and this will be a learning moment.”

Tim Leible of the Rolla Daily News contributed to this report