Maryville junior Piper Zarbano handles the ball in Wednesday's district championship game against Savannah at the Hound Pound.

CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — Maryville head coach Dale Reuter is not normally a man without answers. After the Spoofhounds loss to the Chillicothe Hornets just one week ago — he was just that. On Saturday, Maryville had their chance at revenge and did just that with a 2-0 win over the Hornets in sectionals. 

“It feels pretty good, we knew that we had to play well in this sectional game because you either win it or you go home,” Reuter said. “We weren’t done playing yet, played a good game today and we’re moving on — I’m pretty happy about that.”

The two teams met in the final match of the regular season on May 10. The offensive struggle saw the game end 1-0 with Chillicothe scoring a late goal in the second half. Saturday’s matchup was much of the same through the first 60 minutes. 

“We were slow going on the scoring part of it, but we did have some good shots early on,” Reuter said. “But the girls on the defensive side really worked well together. The communication was great, they were passing the ball, moving it and cutting off of those long runs and possessing the ball.”

One big difference between this game and most is the amount of shots taken by the Spoofhounds. Normally a team who takes shots at a high volume; Maryville took just seven shots in their win over Chillicothe. 

The side with the biggest impact in the match was the Maryville defense. The Spoofhounds came into the match allowing just 1.8 goals-per-game, but it was also a defense that allowed four goals against Savannah in the district championship game on Thursday night. 

“Savannah just didn’t quit on us, they worked hard to earn it and I think the girls got a good lesson out of that,” Reuter said. “Being in the sectionals game, I think that was a good lesson to learn going up against Chillicothe today.”

Just like in their first matchup, the two teams went into halftime scoreless. The Hornets have proven to be a tough matchup for any offense. Chillicothe has not allowed an opposing goal since a 1-0 loss to Benton on April 29 and less than half a goal per game this season. 

“We’re at that time in the season where there are no bad teams left,” Reuter said. “All of the teams are pretty good right now and they have a lot of good strengths, so those games are going to go late into the second half before any scoring is going to be done.”

The Spoofhounds came within inches of breaking the scoreless tie eight minutes into the second half. Junior Morgan Pettlon took the ball up the right side for a short shot that bounced off of the post. 

Pettlon found herself with another opportunity 10 minutes later, but this time, Maryville’s leading scorer pushed the ball past the goalkeeper for the game’s first goal. 

The Spoofhounds put the game away in the 67th minute with Pettlon’s second goal of the match. The two goals were the only two shots taken by Pettlon in the match. 

With the win, the Spoofhounds moved on to the state quarterfinals. Maryville will face either conference foe St. Pius or Pembroke Hill on Wednesday. 

“We’ve got to play as a team, the only way we’re going to get through this is to rely on the whole team and not quit,” Reuter said. “They’re going to have to fight for every minute, go after every ball, communicate and minimize their mistakes. That’s the secret this time of year, this is our third time being in the quarterfinals match and we all know what the story is, you have to work hard for 80 minutes and then a lot of times you have to work hard after that.”