The Fulton Lady Hornets soccer team made the necessary repairs to rise out of its temporary rut.
Fulton - ditching a two-game losing dip - swept its three opponents in round-robin play to take first place in its division at the Lady Spartan Invitational on Saturday. The Lady Hornets punctuated their tournament title by blanking rival Mexico 1-0 on Saturday afternoon, avenging a 2-1 NCMC loss to the Lady Bulldogs last Wednesday night in Fulton.
Starting the season with eight straight shutouts, Fulton's brief slide started last Monday night with a humbling 8-0 North Central Missouri Conference loss at Moberly - ranked No. 9 in Class 2 by the Missouri High School Soccer Coaches Association. Then came the narrow home loss to Mexico.
The Lady Hornets, though, righted themselves by controlling their three tournament foes at Moberly, posting two more shutouts while outscoring them by a combined 8-1. Fulton (11-2) opened play Friday afternoon with a 2-0 victory over Winfield, followed by its 5-1 triumph over Southern Boone on Saturday morning and then its victory over the Lady Bulldogs.
Junior forward Lola Weiss, senior midfielder Kara Henry, sophomore stopper Anna Fink and junior sweeper Rebecca Revak were named to the all-tournament team for the Lady Hornets.
"The girls had an excellent showing," Fulton head coach Kati Wallace said. "Coming off those tough losses, they were able to pull it together and were consistent throughout the entire weekend.
"We're excited about the results; we got ourselves back into that rhythm."
Henry broke a scoreless tie against Mexico on her unassisted goal with less than 10 minutes to play in the second half. Henry darted through the Lady Bulldogs' defense and directed a blazing shot from about 12 yards out that eluded Mexico's goalkeeper and settled into the back of the net.
Fulton finished with nine shots on goal. The Lady Bulldogs recorded five shots on goal and had four corner kicks.
Sophomore goalkeeper Billie Klutts logged her third shutout of the season for the Lady Hornets.
Fulton was deadlocked 1-1 with Southern Boone at halftime Saturday morning, but the Lady Hornets seized control in the second half by scoring four goals. Weiss responded with two of her three goals during that span.
Weiss scored off an assist from Henry in the first half to put Fulton on top, but the Lady Eagles surprised the Lady Hornets with a goal just before the break to pull even.
"The girls felt sucker-punched when Southern Boone was able to get through with that goal," said Wallace, whose squad opened the season with a 2-0 win over the Lady Eagles on March 21 at Ashland. "They were just determined and came out with intensity from the very get-go in the second half."
Fulton regained the lead for good on another unassisted goal by Weiss, then went up 3-1 when Weiss set up Henry for a score. Sophomore midfielder Jenny McCarty followed by assisting on Weiss' third goal of the game and sophomore midfielder Adrienne Ebersole closed out the Lady Hornets' victory when she scored on a breakaway.
Fulton totalled 16 shots on goal, including four corner kicks. Southern Boone ended up with eight shots on goal and three corner kicks.
The Lady Hornets began tournament play Friday with their shutout of Winfield. Henry supplied a goal in the first half off a Weiss corner kick. Weiss tacked on an unassisted goal in the second half.
Fulton senior goalkeeper Liz Foreman - turning away five shots - was credited with her seventh shutout of the season. The Lady Hornets piled up 21 shots on goal.
Fulton returns home for a conference game against Boonville on Tuesday at Morgan Soccer Complex. The junior varsity game will be played first at 5 p.m. The Lady Hornets (4-2 NCMC) shut out the Lady Pirates 5-0 on April 1 at Boonville.