You could almost call it the Modern Day Civil War of Sedalia Soccer.
For Monday night’s ‘Kickin It For A Cure Breast Cancer Awareness’ match, it was the Smith-Cotton Lady Tigers against the Sacred Heart Lady Gremlins at Susie Ditzfeld Memorial Soccer Field.
It was friends against friends, brother against brother on the coaching sidelines and one Sedalia High School against the other, all in the name of raising awareness of breast cancer and raising money for the American Cancer Society.
On a first half goal by Taylor Gero and another in the second half by Megan Lollis the Smith-Cotton Lady Tigers shutout the Lady Gremlins 2-0, making two wins in two years for the Lady Tigers over the Lady Gremlins and both by shutout. S-C won the inaugural match 3-0 in 2011.
Many of the players are friend off the field and play together in various sports traveling teams in the off-season. Most of the players’ parents spend time together.
That’s not to mention that that –S-C is coached by Shawn Cairer a 1998 grad of S-C and the Lady Gremlins are guided by Shawn’s younger brother Travis, a 2001 S-C grad.
“Travis and I have a good relationship,” said winning coach Shawn Cairer, whose team improved to the .500 mark at 5-5. “This isn’t any real big rivalry or anything and it’s for a good cause.”
Asked if this annual fund-raising game was going to continue against his brother’s team, Cairer looked hopeful.
“I hope so and it’s all for a good cause,” he said. “Because it’s against the other high school, there are some issues, but I would love to see it continue.
For the most part, S-C dominated the match as far as offensive possession was concerned, but because of the outstanding play of Sacred Heart senior goalie Kelli Lamb, the match was a nail-biter on the scoreboard.
Lamb, a two-time, first-team All Stater on the volleyball court for Sacred Heart, recorded 13 saves as S-C outshot the Lady Gremlins 18-4. Not all of Lamb’s saves were of the spectacular variety, but one save in the second half stood out.
S-C’s Lexi Webb, who had six shots on goal in the match, hit a rocket in the penalty area that looked like it was heeded to the upper left corner of the net, but Lamb leaped high and got just enough of her hand on the ball to tip ir over the crossbar. She kept her team in the match.
The Lady Tigers kept the ball locked in their offensive half of the field for almost the entire first half.
With 11:08 left in the first half, Gero scored off an assist by Megan Lollis to put the Lady Tigers on top 1-0.
S-Cs spent a lot of time in the Lady Gremlin penalty box in the first 20 minutes but Gremlin defenders Gabbi Ebers and Morgan Bogue kept the Lady Tigers from finding the net more than once in the first half.
The Lady Tigers had a 10-2 shot advantage at the half.
Sacred Heart, 2-5 on the season, showed some offensive prowess in the second half, but struggled to finish as Lady Tigers’ sweeper Lauren Azan, a four-time state golf qualifier for S-C, headed off the Lady Gremlin scoring attempts.
With 18:30 left in the game, S-C’s Ali Mateja hit a cross from the left wing into the penalty area. Jac Greer touched it to Lollis, who finished it by ripping the ball into the back of the net for a 2-0 Lady Tiger lead.
S-C sophomore goalie Jessica Cooper played the role of the “Lonely Maytag Repairman,” rarely being challenged and was credited with two saves. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.