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, MHS girls soccer teams kick-off season with crosstown rivalry matchup

OHS girls soccer triumphs over MHS in rivalry game
The Mehlville High School and Oakville High School girls soccer teams took the field March 26 with the Tigers coming out on top 2-0. Photo courtesy of the Mehlville School District.

What a way to open the season.

The Oakville and Mehlville girls soccer teams faced off March 23 to open the 2024 spring season, in a matchup of cross-town rivals.

In the end, Oakville came away with a 2-0 victory.

Oakville head coach Sarah Guenther called the victory huge for her squad.

“A win in the first match of the season, no matter who the opponent, is always a big deal to any team,” Guenther said. “It is what really starts the momentum of the season. In my experience, when we have started with a loss, it seems to take longer to get into a positive state of mind to get the right motivation needed to get our season going.”

Trying to win the first game of the season can be stressful against any opponent Guenther said, but throw in a rival, and the stress multiplies.

“Mehlville is our natural cross-town rival,” she said. “No matter what the stats say about the strength of our team versus theirs, it is a bragging rights thing. So that is a stressor for sure.”

After a scoreless first half, the Tigers got goals from Kylee Pikul and Alivia Schnur in the second half, to get the 2-0 victory over the Panthers.

Goalie Sydney Baker had four saves for Oakville.

While this was the first official game for both teams, most played in a jamboree the week before to get the feeling of live action.

“We actually played in a jamboree during preseason versus Kirkwood and Lindbergh, so we were able to play live before our first actual match,” Guenther said. “Having a jamboree is important for the hopes of success in our first real match.”

Guenther was very impressed with freshman Ashley Forbes, playing her first varsity soccer contest.

“Forbes was outstanding from the moment that she set foot on the turf,” she said. “To see a freshman command the ball, move the ball, move off the ball and truly give the team some momentum, as a freshman rookie, was great to see.

Guenther also credited her senior back fielder, Abby Wiederman for a strong game.

“Senior Abby Wiederman was, as always, a force to reckon with as our leader in the backfield,” Guenther said. “She just came off of an injury that sidelined her for most of preseason, so to see her come in and take charge like she never left was also a great thing to watch.”

Overall, Guenther was quite impressed with her squad’s performance, setting the tone for things to come this season.

“It was a solid all-around performance,” the coach said. “I was extremely impressed with the poise and communication the players had as a whole. We are a rookie team this year, with only a few players that have varsity experience. As a coach, to see the players move the ball and communicate with such confidence was the most pleasing aspect of the match. Yes, I am happy we put the ball in the back of the net, but to see the inception of our identity come to life so quickly was a beautiful sight to see. It makes me excited for the future of this team.”