Republic pressed the action nearly every minute, dismantling the Branson defense with a relentless, creative attack in a dominating 8-0 win over the Pirates (13-3) at home Wednesday. Sarah Hicks scored her first career hat trick, and five different players scored for Republic in a game that ended after only 50 minutes because of the Lady Tigers’ 8-0 lead.
“I felt like last week, we really started clicking, and I think we continued to build off of that,” said coach Kevin Hauck. “I think as a team, we’re just really figuring out where everybody’s comfortable.”
The scoring spree started early, when Ava Brown put the ball in the net from the left wing less than four minutes in. Two minutes later, another freshman, Molly Blades, scored to make it 2-0. Five minutes after that, Clara Fronabarger scored her first goal with 29:22 remaining in the half. Sarah Hicks scored her first goal with 23:16 remaining in the half, then scored again 15:12 before halftime. Tyra Campbell’s goal with 92 seconds remaining in the half made the score 6-0.
Republic created opportunity after opportunity with an aggressive style of play, pushing up from the middle of the field to disrupt Branson’s attack.
“That was something we talked about after Friday’s game (a 2-0 loss to Springfield Catholic). We felt like we got into the habit where we were sinking off and allowing for the other team to receive the ball in front of us. (We were) allowing them to turn and face us, and not putting that immediate pressure on there,” Hauck said. “I kept telling the girls they’re so talented, there’s no reason for them to be afraid and to back off. We put a lot of emphasis on pressure early and often, not allowing the opposing team to be able to turn on us, and I think that made a huge difference.”
In the second half, Hicks scored her second goal and Fronabarger got credit for the eighth score of the night on an own goal by Branson, ending the game.
Republic’s JV team also won, 3-1.
The Lady Tigers return to action at home Thursday against Carthage. Republic will celebrate Senior Night.