Oettle shines for Lindbergh soccer team as Flyers defeat Tigers for district title

By STEPHEN GLOVER

The Lindbergh High School girls’ soccer team ended an eight-year drought Friday night when it posted a 1-0 victory over host Oakville in the Class 2, District 3 championship game.

Besides capturing its first district title in eight years, the win for Lindbergh (18-4, 5-3 Suburban West) avenged an April 1 2-1 loss to Oakville (13-10, 5-3 Suburban West) when Jasmina Suljic of the Tigers scored the game-winning goal in the second half.

“We felt really good after that game because that was our first game since coming back from spring break,” Lindbergh head coach Mark Giesing recalled. “We knew that they had great weapons, but we also knew that we countered that with weapons of our own.”

For Oakville, Friday night’s game marked several missed opportunities to convert to actual goals scored.

“It was a back-and-forth chess match,” Tigers head coach Dave Robben said. “We played well, created chances, fought hard and played with confidence.

“The problem we’ve had all season is that we just couldn’t capitalize on our chances. The bottom line was that was pretty much the difference of the game.”

Lindbergh’s game-winning goal came with 15 minutes left in the second half when Lindsey Oettle nailed an amazing shot just inside the midfield stripe. The goal was the sophomore midfielder’s fifth of the season.

“Lindsey had a great game overall,” the Lindbergh coach said. “She started out playing marking back against Suljic and got the ball around the middle of the field.

“When she took the shot, the ball seemed to just take forever to get to the goal. It was a very interesting goal,” Giesing added.

Robben believes that Oettle’s play clearly was the difference maker for the Flyers.

“Oettle was clearly the player of the game,” Robben said. “She did a real good job defensively against Suljic and they then moved her up and she generated a lot of their chances.”

The win advanced the Flyers to the state sectional game against Francis Howell North (18-4, 5-1 Gateway Athletic Conference) Tuesday — after the Call went to press.

Francis Howell North won the GAC South Division and defeated Hazelwood West 3-0 May 15 in the Class 2, District 4 championship game.

The Knights strung together an 11-game winning streak during March and April, defeating defending Class 1 champion St. Dominic 2-0 as well as Class 2, District 5 champion Fort Zumwalt West 1-0.

“We don’t have a lot of common opponents with Howell North but (head coach) Dan Hogan will have a very well-organized and disciplined team,” Giesing said. “We’ll have to be patient and take advantage of opportunities when they arise.”