Five games into this season, the Oakville Senior High School girls’ soccer team is establishing itself on the play of its defense.
The Tigers (4-0-1, 1-0 Suburban West) have recorded four shutouts this season, including last week’s 0-0 tie at St. Joseph’s Academy and a 1-0 win at home over Parkway Central.
Against St. Joseph’s April 2, the defense was the star of the game as Oakville held the Angels scoreless.
Oakville head coach Dave Robben was pleased with not only the tie against St. Joseph’s, but also the solid defensive effort from Amanda Akins, Andrea Boone, Courtney Kennedy, Chelsea Suhre and Amanda Teschner.
“We were pretty sluggish in the first half, but our defense really stepped up and thwarted most of their chances,” Oakville head coach Dave Robben told the Call. “In overtime, we had some really good chances and Jasmina (Suljic) hit a shot that was a little over the top of the goal. It was one of those balls that was probably our best chance of the game.”
The Tigers continued their solid defensive efforts against Parkway Central on Thursday as Oakville kept the Colts scoreless.
Parkway Central had posted a 0-0 tie with Francis Howell North the previous evening.
“We had played Parkway Central last year in the state sectional, so we knew what they were returning and they were a pretty formidable team,” Robben said.
“Overall though, it was not one of our better efforts, but the defense once again really stepped up and shut their attack down.”
Oakville’s lone goal of the game came with about seven minutes left in the game as Suljic scored the Tigers’ game-winning goal. Suljic’s goal was the junior forward’s third of the season and was assisted by senior midfielder Emma Kriegel.
“It was a very smart goal,” Robben said. “She redirected the ball that she had gotten from Emma and got it past the goalkeeper.”
The Tigers are back on the field at 6 p.m. today — April 12 — when they travel to Fox for a Suburban West Conference match. The Warriors (5-0-1, 1-0 Suburban) are off to a solid start this season and are coming off a 6-0 win at home over Festus.
“Fox is always ready to play us,” Robben said. “(Fox head coach) Stacey Johnston is a former player and always has her team ready to play. They’re feisty and play with a lot of tenacity.”