WEBB CITY — The Neosho Lady Wildcats fell behind 2-0 at halftime and that deficit proved too much for the defending district champions to overcome in a 2-1 loss to the Webb City Lady Cardinals at Cardinal Stadium.
Webb City sophomore Allison Cundy put the Lady ‘Cards on the board 12 minutes into the match and then with just a few minutes before intermission, senior Lauren Bryan made her penalty kick, taking advantage of her opportunity after her efforts in the defensive backfield.
The Lady Wildcats were whistled for a hand ball inside the penalty box.
Early in the second half, Neosho senior Ashley Talley — who’s been involved with so many goals by either scoring them or assisting on them over her career — brought the Lady Wildcats to a 2-1 deficit on a corner kick mishandled by Webb City senior goalkeeper Kimberly Gamez.
Gamez and the Lady ‘Cards held strong the rest of the match.
A year after Neosho won its first ever girls soccer district title in a 2-0 win over Webb City, Webb City achieved the same feat and the 14-6 Lady ‘Cards host Bolivar in a sectional match on Tuesday.
Neosho finished 11-11-1 on the season.
“To give them two early on like that, as physical and aggressive as they were playing,” Neosho head coach Steve Schnackenberg said, “it made it difficult for us to get into our game. You’ve got to give them credit, because they got those two early and it just made us hard to get anything back.
“We worked and worked and worked and tried to find those chances. They were few and far in-between. The one goal Talley hit, put some pressure on their keeper so the ball went through, so that’s what we were looking for to get us started. It did for a little while, but they held up.”
Neosho’s senior class — all of whom played key roles on last season’s historic district title — played its final game under Coach Schnackenberg and assistant Matt Hixson.
“They came in with a lot of pride,” Schnackenberg said. “They always wanted to do well for the program. A lot of those girls came in and played not for themselves but for Neosho Lady ‘Cats soccer. They were very proud of that and that makes it hard to let them go and to see them go. They’ve been good for our program. I hope we’ve done as much for them as they did for us.”
Schnackenberg’s daughter, Laken, played her final game in a Neosho uniform. Father and daughter hugged immediately after the match.
“I watched those girls grow up and play,” Schnackenberg said. “I just hope I continue to get to see them play in other places and maybe get together and do some things.”
Neosho rolls over CJ in semis
WEBB CITY — The Lady Wildcats established a tone only 1 minute, 7 seconds into their match Monday night against rival Carl Junction.
That tone was goal by Laken Schnackenberg and assist by Talley.
The Lady Wildcats punched their ticket to the championship match with a commanding 5-1 win over the Lady Bulldogs.
Neosho took 20 shots overall, 18 goal, and two corner kicks, while Carl Junction managed 12 shots overall, six on goal, and one corner.
Talley finished with two goals and three assists, while Brooklyn Hughes finished with a pair of goals and Schnackenberg the other goal. Alex Houk factored in with one assist.
Emilee Kivett made five saves in goal.
The Lady Wildcats scored four their goals after halftime and the Lady Bulldogs netted their only goal during a wild second half.