Oakville girls' soccer team finishes season as District No. 7 champions
After its disappointing loss to Rockwood Summit last season in the District No. 7 championship game, the girls' soccer team at Oakville Senior High School was determined not to repeat history.
The Tigers (16-7-3) avenged their pain from 2003 as they defeated Summit 2-0 in the district championship game and moved on to the sectional championship game against Incarnate Word Academy.
Oakville not only had to face one of the top teams in the state, but also had to battle Mother Nature as the Tigers endured an hour-and-a-half rain delay.
Yet Tigers head coach Dave Robben thought that his squad came out fresh and poised throughout most of the first half.
"We came out fresh and I was really happy with how the girls handled themselves," Robben told the Call. "Our game plan was in tact even though we moved from grass to turf."
The Tigers found themselves down 1-0 against Incarnate Word as the Rebels scored on a goal that raised several eyebrows and heated the tempers of several players.
"The first goal of the game was unquestionably tainted," Robben said. "Essentially what happened was that the ball went out of bounds and play was let to go on. We tell the girls to play on until the whistle blows, which they did. But an Incarnate Word player received a pass and caressed the ball. She then rolled it with her hand and moved in on (goalkeeper) Val Vogler."
Incarnate Word struck again in the second half with two more goals for a 3-0 lead, which was too much for the Tigers to overcome.
"We were down by two goals, but the fight and the effort was still there," Robben said. "In order to win any games, you have to score points and they shut us down."
The Tigers lose seven players to graduation in forwards Cathy Headrick, Lisa Pucci, midfielder Melanie Meade, defenders Jackie Roepke and Jessica Liss, along with goalkeepers Meghan Reid and Valerie Vogler.
"For this year's senior class to get back to sectionals is very special because as freshmen they beat Nerinx Hall 1-0 in the district championship game before losing to Lafayette in the sectional," Robben said.
"It's been a good four years. They got to be a part of post-season play and enjoy all of that excitement of being in the playoffs."
The Tigers finished the season as the District No. 7 champions and the Suburban South Conference champions.