I’m a little late with this one, in that the photo is from a game that the Rolla Lady Bulldogs played on Saturday April 7th in Fenton. The Bulldogs were part of the Hazelwood Central College Showcase tournament that weekend, an excellent event that included a pair of women’s College games with Mizzou facing off against Indiana and SEMO vs Iowa State. So plenty of college coaches and some top teams from the region.
Rolla had a difficult road, coming to Fenton off of their 1-2 OT loss to Kickapoo on Thursday April 5th. The temperature and wind conspired against them as well (remember how cold Easter weekend was!). They lost 3-0 against Hazelwood West on Friday and then on Saturday morning by the identical score against Cardondale (IL). That being said, it was also easy to see why Coach Howard consistently delivers a highly competitive squad in the Ozark Conference and the Southwest region. The girls kept the ball on the ground, moved it from side to side and except for a couple of breakdowns were much closer then the score reflected.
There are two senior captains in Calli Collier & Kellie Lemen who know what it means to be part of the Bulldog tradition. The key player this year is Kaitlin Bramel, who is just now returning from a major ankle strain at the end of the basketball season. Kaitlin’s ability to disrupt defenses and create opportunities for her teammates is something opposing coaches prepare for but is only now being recognized on a larger basis.
Add in a pair of experienced sophomores in Emily Spooner and Kim Carter, both of whom got playing time as freshman. There is also a pair of freshman who deserve attention from opposing defenses. I’ll let Sean O’Rourke, Metro Strikers introduce them, as they play for Sean during the Club season:
Jaclyn Standfast (pictured above): Very skillful with great vision and a great leader. Deadly on free kicks. Player that can change the game with a great pass or great finish.
Olivia Cox: Athletic, tenacious, skillful and a great team player. Deadly shot from outside the 18.
Keep an eye on both of these players. Olivia’s older sister Sophie was last years Ozark Conference Co-MVP (with Lou Opfer) and she’s obviously been paying attention. She primarily plays as a forward and will be counted on with Kaitlin to shoulder the scoring burden. Jaclyn is something special. Patience, skill, vision, I was very surprised to hear she was a freshman. Wow.