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The Carthage Press
  • Carthage girls throttle visiting Monett in season opener

  • A flurry of late goals in the first half and a stellar defensive effort propelled the Carthage girls soccer team to a season-opening win Thursday at the Fair Acres Sports Complex as the Tigers pounded visiting Monett 9-0 after a brief weather delay.
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  • A flurry of late goals in the first half and a stellar defensive effort propelled the Carthage girls soccer team to a season-opening win Thursday at the Fair Acres Sports Complex as the Tigers pounded visiting Monett 9-0 after a brief weather delay.
    Five different players scored for Carthage, and sophomore Norma Marquez and junior Maddi Kaempfe each scored three times.
    But head coach Chris Rogers said his team struggled for most of the first half, believe it or not, after Marquez staked the Tigers to an early 1-0 lead.
    “We struggled the first 32 to 35 minutes of the game,” Rogers said. “I think it was just a total lack of confidence. We scored an early goal and just kind of sat back and said, ‘okay.’ They didn’t really play with the intensity we need to play with every time we take the field.”
    Rogers credited the leadership of Leigh Ann Craig, a senior, as well as junior Jessica Marquez and Norma Marquez – the team’s core in the middle of the field – with the turnaround.
    Kaempfe scored her first goal of the game with less than nine minutes left in the half and Carthage led 2-0. Craig made it 3-0 barely a minute later, Kaempfe added another goal, and senior Carmen Garcia’s score just before the break gave the Tigers a 5-0 advantage.
    With Carthage controlling possession all day, the game was pretty much over at that point. But for good measure, junior Megan Dawson-Saba made it a 6-0 game early in the second period, Norma Marquez scored twice more, and Kaempfe added her third goal, just in case there was any doubt the Tigers would open the season 1-0.
    “It’s a good way to start the season,” Rogers said. “Any time you can make even four or five goals. Nine is a good way to start. We’ve lacked confidence in ourselves and that’s what we talk about each day. If we’re not confident in ourselves then we can’t believe in the others. This is a good stepping stone to get where we need to be.”
    The weather, and specifically a strong wind out of the south most of the game, played to Carthage’s advantage.
    “We have the ability to possess the ball and on a windy day like today, playing possession is much better because the ball is going to move on its own, the wind’s going to push it all over the field and if you play possession you can do some of the things we got done tonight.”
    Just how long did the Tigers possess the ball? Monett only got into the box a couple of times, and never got a shot off.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Everybody did a good job,” Rogers said. “We have a pretty strong core to our team. I think the nice thing is we scored nine goals and it wasn’t one person. Maddie Kaempfe scored three goals and they were good goals. That’s good for her confidence and to get her going. Leigh Ann scored and she’s a big part of this team and a big part of our confidence. When she gets going she kind of carries the team on her back and we’re a much better team. Norma Marquez scored three and did a lot of the little things up front for us. She gives us another good option to score. The more options we have the harder it is to defend us.”
    Rogers cited the defensive efforts of Jessica Marquez, senior Ana Luna, freshman Anna Christianson and freshman Jessica Kaup. He said they did a good job keeping the ball forward and helping the Tigers maintain possession.
    The Tigers play at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in a road game at Joplin.
    The team hosts Hillcrest at 4 p.m. next Thursday at the Fair Acres Sports Complex.
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