What a difference a year makes. Last year, the Affton girls soccer team got three goals from their top player Haley Stewart and trampled Ladue, 3-0. Twelve months later, the Rams took the Cougars to overtime at their new digs at the West Ladue campus and won 3-2.
It was a thrilling come-from-behind performance. Jody Peterson, their senior captain could not play because of doctors’ orders from a mild concussion, so she cheered her teammates constantly from the side lines.
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The Mizzou-bound mid fielder told her teammates to believe in themselves. She kept saying it was Ladue’s day to win.
Senior midfielder Abbey Walter could not be in more agreement. She found the back of the nets three minutes, 50 seconds into the second overtime. “I just dribbled into the middle and drew the shot. I was worried I might kick it over the net,” said Walter. Fortunately for her teammates, she was right on target drilling the ball past Cougar goal keeper Carson Talley.
In the early going, it appeared that the Cougars would make it two straight. With 32.05 showing on the first half clock, Hannah Meyer scored the initial goal on Ladue keeper Fran Shannon with the assist going to Ali Harman, a sophomore forward. Then at the 23 minute mark, Haley Meyer broke away for an unassisted goal and a 2-0 lead.
Several Ladue shots barely missed the mark, including one shot that hit the right goal post.
Twenty four minutes, 17 second left in the first half, Argentine-born sophomore forward Mariana Alisio scored for Ladue, cutting the lead in half, 2-1. Veteran defender Maria Vetter had a chance to tie the game on a penalty kick, but Tailey stopped her at point blank range.
The Rams got the tying goal in the second half when Morgan Moore (they call her MO-MO), scored on a rebound shot. Erin Wides had the assist.
“I wouldn’t have this win any other way,” said Dave Aronberg, the Rams head coach. “We had it tough in the early going,” he said addressing his winning squad. “We kept hitting the post sand we just had to battle through adversity.”
“I am very proud of this team. They’ve learned how to battle for 50/50 balls.” Aronberg noted that his 3-2 team will not have an easy week starting with Parkway West, home on Wednesday.
Vetter said this was a great win for the Rams. “We haven’t beaten Affton in a couple of years. We played strong, particularly in the middle of the field.”
Brian Mesplay, Affton coach who saw his team slip to 2-3 took the loss in stride. His star Stewart was hobbled with a leg injury.
“This was a very good, competitive game. We had more of a veteran team last year.” He says it doesn’t get any easier. The Cougars travel today against a stout team, St. Pius X of Festus.