ASHLAND – Wide. Long. Short.
For the first 30 minutes in Tolton Catholic's girls soccer game Monday at Southern Boone, none of the shots from either team were hitting goal or anywhere close for that matter.
That all changed with a 30-yard wonder goal from Tolton’s Andrea Wikle.
“It was kind of hard to see, so I pretty much just shot and hoped for the best,” Wikle said.
The sun might have obstructed Wikle’s vision, and Southern Boone goalkeeper's as well, but that didn’t prevent the Trailblazers' winger from firing a left-footed shot from well outside the penalty box.
“That was a great goal,” Tolton coach Amy Gundy said. “She had a great hit on it.”
Wikle’s goal was the only score for Tolton in a 4-1 loss that dropped the team to 0-3 this season. While the game was competitive for the first half, fatigue hit the Trailblazers midway through the second. Tolton was without two of its starters for the game and were left with only two substitutes on the bench.
“I think we ran out of gas a little bit,” Gundy said.
Wilke scored her goal after receiving a pass from Margaret Oberkrom down the left flank. Seeing her chance, Wikle struck the ball with her left cleat soon after, her shot arching through the air over the keeper and into the goal’s upper netting.
“It kind of bounced, so that helped it get up in the air,” Wikle said.
Wikle’s goal opened up the game, with more shots coming from both sides after the strike. Southern Boone capitalized on its second-half opportunities.
The Eagles equalized with an impressive goal from 44 yards out that bounced over multiple Tolton players before finding the back of the net. Minutes earlier, Tolton’s Lydia Hale was taken off the field after suffering an injury while defending in the Trailblazers' box. That left an already tired Tolton team with one substitute, and after finally scoring, Southern Boone continued to attack and score.
Even though Southern Boone’s first goal was scored from farther out, Gundy said she preferred Wikle’s.
“I’ve got to take Andrea’s any day,” Gundy said. “There was a lot of luck there on that other one. It was all skill by Andrea.”
Skill Wikle might not have acquired had she not torn her ACL last May.
After injuring her right knee, Wikle has been wearing a brace that has forced her to switch from playing in the center of the pitch to the left. As a result, Wikle says she uses her left foot more than her right now in games. Her goal Monday was another example of this new skill.
“There might have been a goal (from that far) last season, but it doesn’t happen very often,” Wikle said.
Tolton is set to play at 5 p.m. Tuesday against Saint Paul Lutheran.