FREDERICKTOWN — A remarkably accurate strike from junior midfielder Brooke Tonjum on Monday gave the Fredericktown girls soccer team an insurance goal less than two minutes into the second half.
North County was unable to counter with many scoring chances inside the box, and senior keeper Nikki Mascaro made eight saves to preserve a 3-0 shutout for the Lady Cats in their soccer season opener.
Junior Taylor Clark netted a late goal and collected the assist on a diagonal ball that sprang Tonjum down the left side. The resulting finish continued a momentum shift that began before halftime.
Tonjum unleashed a left-footed drive with North County keeper Kellsey Morris cutting down an already tight angle, and tucked the shot just inches inside the far post.
Another friendly bounce sealed the outcome during the 75th minute, as Clark received a feed in the middle from Ashleigh Menteer and chipped a 25-yarder off the left pipe.
Mascaro handled a 20-foot free kick following a handball in the 61st minute, and smothered a dangerous drive by Emily Robinson along the near post in the final seconds of the contest.
North County compiled a 13-12 advantage in shots, but yielded four corner kicks to Fredericktown. The Lady Raiders nearly struck first when a nifty cross from senior Marissa Bonney was deflected over the goal.
A stiff crosswind affected the trajectory of numerous goal kicks and sideline throws throughout the first half, limiting the ability of both squads to connect on multiple passes or sustain lengthy possession time.
The Lady Cats eventually broke through in the 36th minute. Tonjum found sophomore forward McKenzie Stockman with open space near the edge of the box, and her low shot made it 1-0.
Fredericktown junior Ariah Buxton was among the most active players in the match, attempting three shots while picking up three defensive fouls. Her quick dribbling sparked back-to-back corners in the second half.