The Nixa Lady Eagles hosted the West Plains Lady Zizzers Friday night. It was Nixa’s fourth game of the week and the ladies looked tired when the game started. Unfortunately, their tired play in the first twenty minutes cost them the game.
However, the loss itself doesn’t tell the whole story. Nixa showed resolve, fought hard after getting down, and deserves credit for not getting discouraged. These characteristics are many of the qualities of winners. Of course, there are other qualities too; such as beating the teams you’re supposed to beat and playing hard for the full 80 minutes. But still, the Lady Eagles are getting better and it was nice to see the fight in the last twenty minutes of the first half and especially in the second half.
Nixa easily won the possession advantage and play was in the Lady Zizzers’ half for most of the game. The lack of scoring, while reminiscent of earlier in the year, was not due to lack of aggressiveness or players not finishing attacking runs. Instead, the ball was simply not bouncing the Lady Eagles way.
West Plains opened the scoring in the 16th minute when #10 senior forward Michelle Esterle put pressure on Nixa junior sweeper Luce Crim. Crim tried to clear the ball out, but Esterle’s high pressure resulted in a Lady Zizzer goal. The attempted clear was deflected off of Esterle’s shin guards and bounced behind Crim. Esterle was able to sprint behind the defense and earn a 1 v 1 with Nixa goalie Kristen Miller. Esterle was successful as she shot low and hard as Miller challenged.
The last goal of the evening was earned by West Plains on a corner kick. A well-placed ball found Esterle, who claimed her second goal.
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