It was a profitable trip to Springfield last weekend for the Union soccer Lady ’Cats.
Union (10-1) won all three of its games at the Southwest Soccer Showdown at Glendale High School to win the event’s Pool D title.
“It was an outstanding weekend of soccer,” Union Head Coach Matt Fennessey said. “We had great weather and we were able to win our pool. We had a couple of tough matches. It was a nice event.”
The Lady ’Cats outscored the opposition by an 18-1 margin.
Union opened Friday with a 4-1 win over a physical Northwest squad.
The Lady ’Cats then defeated Webb City, 10-0, and turned around to beat host Glendale after an hour’s break, 4-0.
“It was nice to have all of our games at one location,” Fennessey said. “We didn’t have to drive from site to site. We got the break and it was nice to relax and enjoy the weather before we had to play again.”
Union joined Southern Boone County, Villa Duchesne and Camdenton as pool winners. Like Union, Southern Boone and Villa Duchesne went 3-0 with two shutout wins. Camdenton was 2-1 with one shutout.
Union opened the event with a 4-1 win over the Lady Lions.
“Northwest always plays tough and they’re a physical team to play,” Fennessey said. “I was glad to see our team get out of that one in one piece.”
Union scored three times in the first half to take the lead. Each team scored a goal in the second half.
Union’s goals came from Emma Cloud, Emily Gaebe, Maliyah Minor and Kaylee Simpson.
Cloud’s goal came off of a corner kick which looped in without help.
“Emma had a really good weekend,” Fennessey said. “She scored what was one of the best goals of the season on a corner kick which went into the net.”
Union got assists from Gaebe, Minor and Hannah Olive.
Olive made six saves in goal for the win.
“The goal they scored was not her fault,” Fennessey said.
Brea Griffonetti scored the goal with Katelyn Long assisting.
Union started Saturday with a 10-0 win over Webb City.
“We got to watch Webb City play Glendale Friday,” Fennessey said. “We knew they were young. We could tell that we needed to put the ball into dangerous spots. We scored in a variety of ways, over the top, back-post runs, corner kicks and free kicks. We figured out a lot of ways to help the team for the future.”
Union led 6-0 at the half and netted the final four goals in the second half.
Gaebe led the way with four goals. Emma Cloud, Addie Davis, Gigi Gore, Kaylee Simpson, Erika Toelke and Grace Weiss each scored once.
Logan Baeres, Hailey Cloud, Natalie Helling, Kaitlyn Hobson, Ella Keltner, Minor, Olive, Simpson, Sami Starling and Toelke recorded assists.
Olive made five saves in goal for the shutout.
The final game was against host Glendale in what was a rematch of last year’s Class 3 sectional game which Union won, 3-0.
This time, the Lady ’Cats prevailed, 4-0.
Union scored once in the first half and added three goals in the second half.
Hailey Cloud scored twice while Minor and Starling had one goal apiece.
Emma Cloud recorded two assists. Helling added one assist.
Olive made seven saves in net for the shutout.
“Glendale is young,” Fennessey said. “They’re not bad. They’ve had a lot of close games. Once we figured out how to finish, we were good. Our defense was strong and the buildup was good. We were able to put together several passes. Glendale will be tough once they figure out the final third.”
Fennessey said Hailey Cloud also had a highlight goal during the tournament.
Several players stepped up during the weekend.
“Maliyah Minor had a nice weekend,” Fennessey said. “She’s one of the hardest-working players on the field.”
Gaebe again was the focus of opposing teams’ defensive efforts.
“Emily does what Emily does,” Fennessey said. “Teams do everything to try and shut her down.”
Fennessey also praised the play of center back Maddie Helling, who had two assists from that spot.
“We really had an opportunity to bond a little bit and that makes everything a little crisper,” Fennessey said.
He praised players who stepped up to play important minutes during the weekend. With back-to-back games Saturday, that meant getting important field time from reserves to keep the team fresh.
“We tried to get as many kids into the games as possible,” Fennessey said. “Kaylee Simpson and Sami Starling really stepped up. Destiny Boehm gave us some important minutes on the defensive end.”
Union returned home Monday to host St. James in a Four Rivers Conference game. After that, Union has one game left in league play.
“We’ve got a really tough week coming up with four games,” Fennessey said.
Union hosts Rolla Wednesday with the JV game starting at 5 p.m.
The Lady ’Cats play Friday and Saturday in Jefferson City at the Helias Shootout. Union plays Notre Dame de Sion of Kansas City Friday at 6 p.m. and Waynesville Saturday at 8 a.m.
“The Notre Dame de Sion game is one we’ve been looking forward to,” Fennessey said. “That should tell us if we’re ready to really contend.”