Kathryn Dublin reunited with former teammates at Willard and capped an 8-0 victory versus Webb City with a header goal this week while helping Ozark hike its winning streak to nine matches.
The Lady Tigers (13-5 overall and 6-0 in the COC) maintain a one-game lead on Nixa in conference play while trying to repeat as COC champs.
Dublin is looking to be part of her first COC championship team. The senior midfielder played at Willard as a sophomore and junior and at Glendale as a freshman.
Ozark won at Willard 2-0 Tuesday.
“For me, it was bittersweet,” Dublin said. “We were able to beat them, but it was hard for me to play against my old team. I hugged every single one of my friends (at Willard) after the game.”
Dublin reports she has transitioned well to being a Lady Tiger for a second time, thanks to her soccer teammates.
“I already knew a couple people here, so I was a bit set up and I'm used to moving around,” Dublin said. “Everyone here is so nice. It wasn’t hard to make friends. This team has such a great dynamic. We're all friends. This second semester has been one of my favorite (semesters). In the hallways, I'll see my soccer friends and they'll wave to me. First semester, I didn't have that. (Soccer) definitely helped me make friends.”
Dublin was one of five Lady Tigers to score against Webb City. Chloe Kondracki, Natalie Morgan and Audrey Carlton all had two goals, while Dublin and Shaeley Combs each had one goal.
Dublin’s header goal was her first such goal of her career. She received a corner kick from Brooklyn Schulte, ending the contest with a little more than a minute remaining.
“It was fun to finish the game like that,” Dublin said. “It felt natural to me. But my jaw was open in surprise. I did not think it was going in.”
Ozark dominated possession of the ball while repeatedly working toward scoring chances.
"We were able to possess a lot. We were on our half (of the field) most of the time,” Dublin said.
The Lady Tigers’ passing has stood out during their winning streak.
“Our passing was really good,” Carlton said. “We're always moving and getting open and we're good at finding open players, switching the field and getting opportunities. We have a lot of options all the time.
“We're a very smart team,” she added. “Everyone has a good soccer IQ. We're good at anticipating the ball. If (the opponent) is going to pass the ball, we can kind of tell where it's going to go and we'll try to jump on it and win it.”