For the second season in a row the Neosho Lady Wildcats and Hillcrest Lady Hornets went head to head in a fierce battle to open the season.
And like their meeting last year, the outcome wouldn’t be decided in regulation. After being tied 0-0 after two overtimes, it went to penalty kicks, where the Lady Wildcats won 3-1. While the outcome was similar, last season the teams went to overtime tied 4-4.
Just hours after celebrating her signing with Hannibal-LaGrange University at Neosho High School, senior goalkeeper Matty Liedtke turned in seven saves and blocked two Lady Hornets penalty kicks to help lead Neosho to the victory.
Lady Wildcats captain Paige O’Neill scored on a penalty kick, as did teammates Emily Reed and Haley Long.
“We kind of started this was with (Hillcrest) last year,” Neosho coach Steve Schnackenberg said. “I think the wind hurt us in the first half, and then, of course, we had some first game jitters. I thought we looked much better in the second half.”
The Lady Wildcats (1-0) blasted 17 shots on goal.
Neosho is back in action on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at McAuley Catholic in Joplin, Mo.