South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

OHS girls soccer secures tournament victory

Oakville girls soccer has turned their season around
Photo by Jeremy Housewright
The Oakville girls soccer team celebrated their second consecutive victory at the Blue Cat Cup last month, pictured above, after wins over competitors like Union and Washington. Despite starting the season with a 5-6 record, the Tigers now sit at a 13-8 record, having gone 8-2 in their last 10 games. The Blue Cat Cup included a dominant 8-0 win against St. Francis Borgia and a 2-0 performance against Washington, paving their way to the finals where they clinched the title 2-1 against Union.

Sitting at 5-6 on April 15, the Oakville girls soccer team’s young players weren’t about to let the season go down the drain.

Since then, the Tigers have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games, and are 13-8 for the season. On top of that, the team clinched their second consecutive championship against Union at the Blue Cat Cup tournament in April.

For head coach Sarah Guenther, the back-to-back tournament wins are extra special.

“Winning this title back-to-back has been a highlight of my coaching career,” Guenther said. “We lost 12 amazing seniors last year and basically our team this year is completely different – not in a bad or good way, just new. A lot of our team has never played at the varsity level and the veterans have not played with the rookie players before, so finding our identity has been our main focus for this season.”

Guenther said that the team was well aware that their performance at the tournament could very well define the season.

“We knew going into this tournament that it was going to be a turning point for our season,” Guenther said. “We have had some tough competition at the beginning of our season, playing one of the hardest schedules in the area. The team has been doing amazingly thus far, but we really haven’t been consistent, which typically is an attribute that defines veteran teams and thus our demise.”

Going into the tournament, the Tigers were focused on playing hard-nosed and competitive soccer from the beginning of the game to the end.

“We had a mission last week going into this tournament, being that we played consistent soccer from whistle to whistle and left it all on the field, no matter who our opponent was,” Guenther said. “Well, we did just that. So, this championship title means the world to me and our program.”

Following a tough 3-2 loss to the Columbia Eagles, a perennial state contender in Illinois, the Tigers didn’t dwell on the loss but rather gained a load of confidence from the game.

“Columbia is a great team and also has a great coach and vibe, and I would say they are very similar to Union and their community,” Guenther said. “They have great leadership and some pretty awesome athletes. I actually took the loss we sustained from Columbia to prepare my team for the match against Union. Even though the tough loss to Columbia the week before the tournament hurt, I always tell my girls that you learn more from losing than what you learn from winning. It worked, confidence boosted.”

Oakville used that confidence, defeating Lindbergh 1-0 April 18 and then blowing out Poplar Bluff 9-1 April 19. Ashley Forbes had three goals in the blowout win over the Mules. Up next for Oakville was the tournament opener against St. Francis Borgia. The Tigers once again racked up the goals, beating the Knights 8-0. Forbes added another hat trick in the win. Aubree Pikul added a pair of goals, and Reagan Kemp, Avery Nixon and Alivia Schnur each had a goal in the first-round game.

Next up for the Tigers was Washington. Oakville got goals from Forbes and Schnur to get past Washington 2-0, sending the Tigers into the finals.

The Tigers faced a tough task, as the Union Wildcats came into the finals for the first time since 2021, carrying a record of 10-1. Union defeated Pacific (11-3) 3-0 to reach the finals.

The Tigers were unfazed by the challenge, winning 2-1. Hazel Blumenkemper scored the first goal right before the end of the first half for Oakville, but Union answered back immediately, and the score was 1-1 at halftime.

In the second half, at the 29:15 mark, Schnur gave Oakville the lead with a goal.

The Tigers were able to hold on the rest of the way to secure the victory.