By Kyle Roberts
Both Ruston High School soccer squads got non-district wins Saturday against North DeSoto with the girls winning 2-0 and the boys winning 3-1.
For the Lady Bearcats, a strong offense overcame a pressing Griffin team that had nearly as many shots on goal as Ruston did.
“It’s important to get shots early and fast against a team like theirs,” Ruston head coach Jacquelyn Bean said. “That was the difference between today’s outcome and this past Thursday night’s loss against Tioga. Today we took more shots, and it paid off.”
Ruston scored in the first ten minutes off a corner kick by Morgan Foster that was assisted by Mia Tapia. Tapia created a second opportunity afterward for teammate McKenzie Oakley who scored a tap-in goal through the box.
“Those shots are much harder to convert than they look,” Bean said. “It takes incredible awareness and timing to tap it in at the back post. We’ve practiced those a hundred times and to see it pay off and make a difference in a match is special.”
Senior goalkeeper Emily Stutzman took the shutout defending the net.
On the boy’s side, rallied back after getting down early 1-0 that began with a spark from Jaiden Langiulli near the end of the first half with his first goal of the day to tie the match at 1-1. Jack Elliot gave Ruston the lead with a goal in the 46th minute on an assist from Langiulli, who then scored his second goal off an assist from keeper Trenton Richard off a punt to secure the win.
“It was a grind of a game,” Ruston head coach Erich Hankamer said. “I’m so proud of the boys. They fought for 80 minutes.”
The boys return to action Tuesday, Jan. 17, at home at ASH, while the girls will play at West Ouachita on Thursday, Jan. 19.