Union’s soccer Lady ’Cats can add another Four Rivers Conference title to their banner.
By virtue of a 10-0 home victory Monday at Stierberger Stadium, Union improved to 11-1 overall and 4-0 in the Four Rivers Conference.
St. James fell to 1-4 overall, 0-2 in the FRC.
“The girls did a good job of putting them away,” Union Head Coach Matt Fennessey said. “We were able to get some girls into the scoring column who hadn’t scored. It was a good game and a great conference win for us.”
Union finishes out FRC play April 16 at Sullivan. Sullivan (5-6-1) is 0-3 in league play.
“We can keep that streak alive of winning conference championships,” Fennessey said. “We want it all by ourselves, so when we get to the Sullivan game, we’re going to take care of business. We’re excited about our position in the conference and we want to continue that success.”
The Lady ’Cats led 4-0 at the half and ended the game just past the hour mark on the 10th goal.
Much of the focus in the first half was in giving players time in different positions. Top scorer Emily Gaebe played sweeper while normal midfielders and defensive players were given a chance to see time up front.
Ella Keltner netted two goals. Gaebe moved back to forward for the second half and also scored twice and added an assist.
Logan Baeres, Destiny Boehm, Hailey Cloud, Gigi Gore, Paige Schoonover and Grace Weiss scored the other Union goals.
Emma Cloud and Weiss each had two assists. Baeres, Hailey Cloud, Gaebe, Kaitlyn Hobson, Schoonover and Sami Starling had one assist apiece.
Hannah Olive earned the shutout, stopping three shots.
Baeres, a freshman, opened scoring 3:30 into the game, taking a pass and moving around the St. James goalkeeper to shoot into an open net.
Keltner, a senior defender, scored just under nine minutes into the game to make it 2-0.
Schoonover, who normally is a defender, made it 3-0.
Union spent much of the rest of the half working to set up defender Destiny Boehm, who got her goal with 11:02 to go in the half. Union led 4-0 at the intermission.
“Early in the game, we set out a goal to have players who hadn’t had a chance to score in the scoring column,” Fennessey said. “Logan Baeres scored her first goal this year. Ella Keltner did the same thing. Paige Schoonover scored a nice goal. Destiny was trying like heck to get it into the back of the net. Destiny is a defender. We got her up top and she was finally able to get one into the net. We were happy for her.”
Union honored future Wildcats during the half with students from Central Elementary also being recognized.
After the half, it took 39 seconds for Weiss to make it 5-0. Gore scored 2:07 into the second half and Gaebe scored 39 seconds after that.
“We were ready,” Fennessey said. “We wanted to get back in form and get to the positions where we can be most successful as a team. That happened. We got back to the regular positions and scored some nice goals.”
Hailey Cloud scored 9:11 into the second half on a long shot and Gaebe added her second just over eight minutes later.
Just over three minutes after Gaebe’s second goal, Keltner scored to end it.
“The St. James defense did a really nice job,” Fennessey said. “Their center back had a nice game and she was able to block a lot of shots. Their goalkeeper didn’t give away anything. They were solid back there as well.”
Union stays home Wednesday, hosting Rolla. The teams were in the same district for the last cycle, but have been split. That’s a potential sectional matchup should both teams win their respective districts.
Union plays Friday and Saturday in the Helias Shootout in Jefferson City. The Lady ’Cats take on Notre Dame de Sion of Kansas City Friday and Waynesville Saturday.
“Notre Dame de Sion is one of the top teams in the state every year,” Fennessey said. “We’re looking forward to that game.”