Paige Elsenraat set up one goal and scored another in Republic’s win at Sedalia Smith-Cotton. (File photo by Steve Rackley)

Lady Tigers Rebound with “True Team Effort” in 2-0 Win

Two late goals helped Republic rebound from its first loss of the season with a 2-0 win at Sedalia Smith-Cotton Thursday. Mati Carpenter and Paige Elsenraat scored for the Lady Tigers, who improved to 4-1.

In a physical match, neither team managed to get the ball in the net for more than three-quarters of the game. Goalkeeper Awbree Berning, back on the field after an injury knocked her out of the second half against Glendale earlier in the week, teamed with the back line to post Republic’s third shutout of the season. Coach Jesus Zuniga called the win a “true team effort.”

Republic scored the first goal of the night with 9:08 remaining. The play started with Paige Elsenraat near midfield. She lofted a pass 55 yards into the right corner, in a perfect spot for Molly Blades to track down ahead of the defense. Blades played the ball back to Kendra Phiri, who fired toward the left post. The ball sneaked past the diving Smith-Cotton goalkeeper, and Mati Carpenter was waiting to tap it into the goal.

Republic added a little cushion on the scoreboard with 5:26 remaining. Cadence Lugar played the ball in from 25 yards out, and Elsenraat stretched out her left leg to redirect the ball past the diving goalkeeper to make the score 2-0.

“I’m proud of the girls,” said Zuniga. “We weren’t always moving and doing the little things right, but as a group we battled together and found a way to get the result we wanted.”


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