CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — Maryville soccer coach Dale Reuter is hardly ever at a loss for words, and Monday night in Chillicothe was no different. Reuter spent 15 minutes speaking to his team after a 2-1 loss to the Hornets. The head coach used words of frustration, but also with understanding and belief that they can be better in the future.
“We just did not show up today, I don’t know if it’s last week got us with the heat and all that stuff,” said Reuter. “I could say that and that gives us a good quote and a good excuse, but we just did not show up today. I guess the one good thing about that is that he (Chillicothe’s coach) has a good shot at districts, but if we show up with the team I know I have — he’s not going to stop us.”
The Spoofhounds' offense controlled the ball in the beginning, doing what it wanted for the first five minutes of the match. The Hornets didn’t allow that momentum to last long, quickly forcing the ball down the field and taking their first shot five minutes into the match.
The Hornets controlled the ball for a 10-minute period, taking three shots in that time. Two of Chillicothe’s shots were off target and Spoofhound goalkeeper Hunter Johnson had a save on the other.
The Maryville offense broke through in the 12th minute to take their first shot of the match, but Justin Staples’ shot was saved the Hornet goalkeeper. Staples spent most of the evening getting accustomed to a new position.
“He (Reuter) wanted to switch a few things up because he wasn’t happy with what he was seeing,” said Staples. “So that’s when he sent me to center back when my normal position is outside mid making those runs, crossing it in and sending those balls through and trying to get Jaden’s foot on the ball.”
Hayes got his foot on the ball in the 18th minute for his first shot of the match. Again they were unable to get it by the goalkeeper on one of his rare opportunities at a goal.
“They put three, sometimes four on Jaden because they know he is our scorer,” Reuter said. “You don’t put 10 up in the first game and not draw attention to yourself and so we have to figure out a way of getting the attention off of him and getting the ball moved around.”
It felt like it was just a matter of time before Chillicothe broke through for a goal after controlling things for much of the first half. That break finally came for the Hornets in the 27th minute as Mason Baxter broke the scoreless tie with a goal.
Maryville came out strong to start the second half, possessing the ball and twice getting the ball near the box. The Spoofhounds were unable to make anything of those opportunities, twice turning the ball over.
“We weren’t able to put together any passes, we weren’t able to do what we needed to do and that’s control and pass,” Reuter said. “We’d get the ball at our feet and we’d have some bad first touches.”
Staples tied the match in the 10th minute with a long shot that found its way through the goalkeeper. Even Staples was a little surprised, the ball found the net.
“I’m not going to lie ... whenever I first hit it, the reaction wasn’t what I was hoping,” Staples said. “It was a low shot and I was hoping for the backside higher up, but whenever I saw it went in it meant something me and I hoped we could get something going.”
The Hornets immediately went back to work trying to regain the lead, but the Maryville defense made a block in a one-on-one situation and then Johnson made a save to keep it tied at one. Staples had another opportunity in the 14th minute for his second goal, but much like the first half, the Spoofhounds were unable to get it past the Hornets’ goalkeeper.
The biggest advantage for the Hornets came on corner kicks. Chillicothe took five corner shots in the second half. The biggest being their fourth corner that ended with a header for goal from Dalton Ripley in the 30th minute.
“That was beautiful, you know I saw it coming and so did he so I have to give it to him there,” said Reuter. “You just don’t leave a guy unmarked there, that’s just not our ball, we don’t do that.”
Maryville was unable to put together an attempt to tie the game in the final 10 minutes. It was the second loss in their last three games. The Spoofhounds will have a chance to quickly put this game behind them as they host the Benton Cardinals on Tuesday night.
“I’m not giving up on the conference, but there’s a lot of things that are out of our hands,” said Reuter. “What we can do right now is do our best, win as many games as we can, but the focus will be working to figure out those key positions that we need consistent play at day in and day out.”