Nixa blanks Webb City 2-0 in soccer showdown

Jim Henry, The Joplin Globe, Mo.
·3 min read

Apr. 30—WEBB CITY, Mo. — Nixa made two first-half goals stand and defeated Webb City 2-0 on Thursday at Cardinals Stadium in a showdown for first place in the Central Ozark Conference girls soccer standings.

The Eagles (11-4, 6-0 COC) handed the Cardinals (15-3, 5-1) their first conference loss and ended their eight-game winning streak. The Eagles are tied at the top with Republic, and those two teams play Tuesday at Republic.

Nixa took the lead in the 12th minute when it moved the ball down the wing, and Katie Kamies cross the ball inside to Ashlynn Stoneberger, who turned and hit a shot in the far corner of the goal.

Then 19 minutes later, a Nixa player was tripped inside the penalty area, and Abby Harrison converted the penalty kick to make it 2-0.

"I thought in the first half we came out on the front foot and did some good things," Eagles coach Evan Palmer said. "Then we kind of let them get back in the game, but they have a nice team over there. But they have a nice team over there, and they are going to do some damage in the postseason at the Class 3 level."

Nixa held the advantage in ball possession, and much of the game was played on Nixa's half of the field.

"The second half, that was our goal ... keep possession and keep them out of our end," Palmer said. "We did that for the most part in the second half. Didn't quite get the goals, but you have to credit their goalkeeper. She played great, and defensively they are tough to break down. They had pressure on us, and we didn't get great looks."

"We had a hard time getting out of our own end," Cardinals coach Nick Harmon said. "At the end of the first half we had some spells — five minutes here, 10 minutes there — where we were in their zone quite a bit and put pressure on them. I think tired legs set in during the second half, and we had fewer chances to break out.

"They don't give up the ball very easily, so it's very hard to get it off of them and then keep it. They are good at winning it and keeping it. We had a really good chance, one-on-one with the keeper in the first half, but we couldn't convert. The keeper (Madelyn Wilcox) came out and made the play. I think that might have changed the dynamic of the game."

According to Webb City's statistics, Nixa held an 11-1 advantage in shots on goal, with Mileah Metcalf making the shot. Cardinals goalkeeper Delaney Duke recorded nine saves.

"Delaney played great, played amazing," Harmon said. "She kept us in it.

"This is the best result we've ever had against them traditionally. To go down two goals early and then hold them scoreless in the second half, I think they showed a lot of resilience and composure. They didn't quit after that.. They kept playing and kept fighting ... just couldn't find a way through."

The Cardinals are back in action Tuesday at Neosho.