On a calm, sunny mid-afternoon in Smithville, the Lady Hound soccer team had its world turned upside down.
A team prone to pouncing on weaker opponents early and putting them away in the first half, Maryville found itself on the receiving end of such harsh treatment in a humbling 7-0 loss to Smithville Wednesday.
Smithville netted three goals in the first 10 minutes, four in the first 15 and took a 5-0 lead to the half, preventing a match between the MEC's two top teams from ever being in doubt.
The Warriors (11-2-1, 4-0) added two more second half goals and preserved the shutout of a Lady Hound team that had scored at least twice in every match this year.
"We've always been the one's doing this to people," said Maryville head coach Bayo Oludaja. "What typically happens is once a team like Smithville scores one, two, three goals like that, it has an effect. That's what happened."
Resigned to finishing second in the MEC once again, Maryville fell to 11-2 on the year and 3-1 in the conference.
Both losses have come in the last four matches against the same two teams that beat them last year—St. Joseph Central and Smithville.
Only last year's match with Smithville was much closer, with the Lady Hounds scoring first and losing 2-1 at home.
With nearly all of last year's team in tact, Maryville was thought to be even better equipped to beat Smithville, but that was not the case.
"In terms of quality of players, I would say if not better than last year we are at least at the same level, but it didn't come together today," said Oludaja. "We played better in the second half. I was glad to see that. Hopefully, we'll learn from this."
Utilizing her quickness advantage on the fast turf, highly skilled sophomore forward Kelsey Mothershead scored three of Smithville's five first half goals and put away a fourth goal in the second half. She also had an assist.
Freshman Tyler Ribble-Farrell hit the back of the net twice, and Smithville's remaining goal came from sophomore Kyli Nelson.
Smithville's seven goal output was the most given up by the Lady Hounds either this season or last. Their previous high allowed was four in the loss to St. Joseph Central.
"You've got to be careful playing the offsides trap against them," said Oludaja. "They can easily break it. They know what to anticipate. If you listen, they don't do a whole lot of talking, but they know what to expect and they connected that way. What was happening more than anything was we were in that and they anticipated and were ready to make that run. That's just something we need to talk more about."
Page 2 of 2 - Maryville's scoring chances were few and far between in the match.
Senior forward Alyssa Stiens nearly broke up the shut out in the second half, but had a shot go off the left post.
Cassie Holtman, Ashton Reuter and Mollie Holtman each put shots on net that were saved by keeper Jordan Lewis.
"Our players admitted at halftime we didn't get our touches," said Oludaja.
Smithville opened the scoring exactly 1:30 into the match on a goal by Mothershead. Her shot was deflected by Hound defender Anny Van de Ven into the net.
Mothershead converted a break-away opportunity in the seventh minute to put Smithville ahead 2-0.
In the 10th minute, Mothershead put a shot on net that was stopped, but Ribble-Farrell was there for a rebounded shot that froze Hound keeper Shannon Johnson and went in to make it 3-0. Smithville extended to a 4-0 lead one second into the 14th minute on Mothershead's third goal.
The Warriors capped the first half scoring in the 30th minute on a Mothershead cross to Ribble-Farrell who scored her second goal.
The second half went scoreless until Mothershead sent a ball through the legs of Johnson in the 52nd minute for her sixth goal. Nelson added Smithville's final tally with 5:38 left in the match.
"I think one of the things we lacked was communication," said Oludaja. "We may have somebody who feels like she's containing two more or more players from Smithville and then it's like 'ok, who do I take?' instead of communicating to others and just following someone into place. You give Smithville one yard and they'll take seven. Hopefully, we'll learn from that against the opponents we have in front of us."
Maryville is right back in action today against Benton in St. Joseph.
Another challenging match with a bigger, Kansas City school awaits Monday when the Hounds visit Notre Dame de Sion.