BRANSON — Brooklyn Schulte provided a goal Tuesday sure to be remembered among a seemingly ever-growing number of Ozark highlights.
Schulte was one of five Lady Tigers to account for at least one goal in Ozark’s 6-0 beating of Branson.
Schulte scored in the second half in spectacular fashion, somehow finding an angle to boot a perfectly-placed kick a good 30 yards out from the front corner of the end zone, up and over the Branson ‘keeper and into the opposite end of the goal.
“I tend to do better with awkward angles,” Schulte said. “It was a shot from out wide into the upper 90 (where the post meets the crossbar) over the keeper's head.
"It was definitely a floater," she added. “I knew there was a chance for it to go again and I also knew my teammates were going to be there to follow it in case it wasn't in."
For Schulte, a freshman, it was her fifth goal on the season. She’s obviously proving that, even this early in her Ozark career, she belongs at the varsity level.
“I came in with the attitude that I needed to earn my spot. I wasn't expecting anything,” Schulte said. “I've been working hard in practices and at home to earn my spot on the field.”
She’s made a smooth transition to playing with and against players up to three years older than her.
“It's a bit of a change, it’s definitely faster,” Schulte said of varsity ball. “It’s taking some adapting. My teammates have been supportive, so that's been really helpful.”
Another play that stood out Tuesday involved the hustle and quickness of defender Molly Rushing. Even with the outcome long since decided, Rushing raced to beat a Branson forward to a loose ball nearing the Lady Pirates goal in the second half.
The Branson player initially had a a head start of a few yards on Rushing upon pursuing the ball.
“I'm not going to give up on a ball. No one is going to beat me,” Rushing said. “They weren't going to score on us. We're the much better team.”
Ozark’s Annabelle Shuler netted a pair of goals, while Addison Shuler, Kathyn Dublin and Audrey Carlton each had one.
Rushing was proud how the Lady Tigers (9-5 overall and 2-0 in the COC) didn’t let up playing 4-8 Branson.
"We knew what the task was in front of us,” she said. “There was no joke about them. They had nothing to lose and we had a lot to lose.”
Ozark has won five straight. The winning streak includes three shutouts and a PKs shootout victory in which the Lady Tigers shut out Nixa during regulation and two overtimes.
Ozark has racked up 11 straight COC victories dating back to its COC championship last season. Overall, the Lady Tigers own 13 straight wins against COC competition, having also downed Nixa at Districts a year and beaten Webb City at the Southwest Showdown this season.
"We're doing a good job connecting, finishing and finding the back of the net,” Schulte said. “We keep improving.”
"We're all good friends and hang out together,” Rushing said. “We have good chemistry. It’s good to be around each other.”