Republic struck twice in a minute to sieze a 2-0 lead early in the 2nd half, then held off an Ozark charge down the stretch to down their COC rival for the second time this season, 2-1 at home Tuesday.
The game was scoreless through the first 50 minutes, before freshman Josh Gallardo followed a shot by Dylan Brown and drove it home to put Republic on top. Just about 50 seconds later, Brown got a goal, as well, assisted by Drew Flippin.
“I thought throughout the game we were inching pretty close to some scoring opportunities,” says coach Kevin Hauck. “There were times where we were just maybe a little bit behind on our pass, or a little late getting to the ball off a cross. I felt like we were definitely on the brink of [scoring].”
Ozark got its only goal of the game with just six minutes remaining, and pressed deep into the Republic defense a few times after that, looking for the equalizer.
“It definitely made the last six minutes really intense,” Hauck says of Ozark’s goal. “That just shows you’ve got to always stay focused and… be prepared for the entire game.
“I’m really proud of the guys. They didn’t allow that to rattle them. They turned it up for that last six or seven minutes.”
The game ended as Ozark mounted one final attack, with Alex Leonard’s sliding tackle ending the threat.
Republic improves to 17-3. They celebrate Senior Night Thursday against Bolivar.