Camdenton falls to Rolla in district opener and Clinton comeback ends Osage’s season

Camdenton falls to Rolla in district opener

One goal made the difference Monday night in the Class 3 District 9 opener in Lebanon Monday night between Camdenton and Rolla.

Unfortunately for the third-seeded Lakers, that goal went to the No. 2 Bulldogs in a 1-0 defeat that brought the season to an end.

After wrapping up the regular season at Springfield Central on Friday in a game where Camdenton came up just short in a 1-0 loss in two overtimes on a free kick near the end of the period, the team found itself locked in another close battle to kick off the postseason.

The Lakers and Bulldogs were scoreless through halftime with both sides having several opportunities to score. With about 30 minutes remaining, Camdenton centerback Grant Thompson had possession of the ball and was tackled from behind on a play that injured the team captain and prevented him from being able to return. After the Lakers shuffled the lineup because of it, Rolla was able to take advantage with a goal about 10 minutes later.

“Grant is our vocal and physical leader on the field and we later found out that he broke his fibula and dislocated his ankle,” Camdenton coach Tyler Sevon said. “Our boys rallied well after Grant went down, but Rolla scored the go-ahead goal with our back line shifted around. We did not give up and pressed the rest of the half to try and tie the game up.”

Camdenton’s Ian Kirby-Gibson soon hit a shot from about 25 yards out that was stopped on a tough save from Rolla’s keeper, but the Lakers eventually ran out of time before they could find the equalizer.

“We had several opportunities created from Caden Kowal’s tremendous work rate and some good balls played in from Austin Clay,” Sevon pointed out.

Camdenton ends the season at 4-18-1 and although this chapter has closed, Sevon said he was proud of this group and all they endured.

“This season has been very challenging for our boys, but they never complained and never gave up. They played with every bit of heart and effort they had and I am so very proud of that and honored to be their coach,” he said. “We only lose four seniors and have a great group of boys returning and they will continue to grow and develop as young men and soccer players.”

Clinton comeback ends Osage’s season

School of the Osage ran into a resilient Clinton team on the pitch Tuesday night.

The Indians kicked off the postseason in the Class 2 District 5 Tournament at Clinton and after the third-seeded Indians secured a 1-0 halftime lead, the host Cardinals scored three goals in the second half in just over 20 minutes that turned into a 3-2 win.

“I believe our schedule prepared us to make a run deep in the postseason and we probably should have. For whatever reason, we found ourselves against the wall last night and came up short,” Osage coach Jason Long said. “I don’t want to take anything away from the Clinton boys- they fought back from being down early and showed a lot of heart to win the game.”

When these two sides met at Osage back on October 8, the visiting Cardinals managed to walk off the pitch with a win after the game went to penalty kicks and although it was not the ending Osage had in mind finishing the season at 11-8, Long finds plenty of reason for optimism in the years to come.

“Osage is fortunate enough to have a young squad who now has a ton of experience playing against teams that were senior heavy this season,” the coach pointed out. “We are looking forward to the next several years of great Indian soccer.”

One of the reasons Long is optimistic is the overall team stats for the season.

At the beginning of the season, the program set a goal of scoring three goals per game while conceding a goal or less per game and the team finished with 48 goals on the year for a 2.52 goals per game average, down a rate of 0.06 goals per game from 2019. The Indian defense conceded 30 goals on the season for a 1.57 average, an improvement of nearly a goal per game from the 2.45 goals per game allowed in 2019. Long noted that the goal conceded rate is tied with the 2011 team for the best defense the program has had. Meanwhile, Osage completed 78 percent of its passes and averaged 65 percent possession over 19 games, showing there just may be a spark to work with in the future.

“It made for very exciting soccer to watch,” Long said.

“The simple fact is that we fell short of our goals this year and we were not ready for the season to end. We are definitely not satisfied, but we are extremely happy we got to play,” he continued, referring to the pandemic. “We will keep working to bring home a district championship to Osage and improve as a team.”