In one way, meeting No. 3 between Lee’s Summit North and Lee’s Summit followed the script of the two previous meetings this season.
In another way, it didn’t – to North’s disappointment.
As with the two regular-season games, the margin of victory in Thursday night’s Class 3 District 14 final at Truman High School was one goal. The difference was that Lee’s Summit won this time, as junior midfielder Dalton Souder scored in the 73rd minute to hand the Broncos a 1-0 season-ending loss.
“He hit a nice shot,” Broncos coach Tim Richardson said. “There’s not much you can do about it.”
Souder’s “nice shot” came from about 30 yards out. Keeping the ball along the ground, he sent it to the lower left corner, where it squeezed past North goalkeeper Parker Johnson.
“Parker’s a great keeper – and I knew the only way to beat that man was (to go) side netting, hard and low,” Souder said.
To Richardson, Souder’s goal was in keeping with the evening’s overall tone.
“They controlled a lot of the possession,” Richardson said. “Our approach was to try to play a little bit more direct – to get the ball past the midfield and get the ball to our front-runners, our players up front. And they were knocking at the door, here and there.”
In terms of shots, the Tigers knocked at the door more often than the Broncos did. Lee’s Summit outshot North 11-6, including 5-4 on goal.
The Tigers outshot the Broncos 5-4 overall during the scoreless first half, but both teams put three shots on goal. Lee’s Summit’s final chance came during the 40th minute with a shot at Johnson, who stopped it for one of his four total saves.
The Tigers continued to knock during the second half until they got the payoff with Souder’s game-winner. Souder credited Lee’s Summit’s ability to win it during the final 10 minutes to hard work and conditioning. Lee’s Summit coach David Wiebenga credited it to other factors.
“We just kept pressing,” Wiebenga said. “These guys fought. They fought hard. They’ve really started to come around over the last two, three weeks – and really, since we lost to North in the last match, they’ve really kind of turned things around.”
“They’re fighting for each other,” he added. “They’re doing their job, no matter how long it is, no matter how short it is. Each guy is absolutely committed to one goal.”
In avenging the regular-season losses to its crosstown rival, Lee’s Summit (14-6)advanced to face Rockhurst Tuesday night at the Hawklets' Dasta Stadium.
The Broncos, who defeated Lee’s Summit 2-1 in overtime on Sept. 25 at home and 1-0 on Oct. 22 at Lee’s Summit, finished 18-4-1.
“We’re proud of our group,” Richardson said. “We’ve worked hard throughout the year and got some good accolades to show for it – and our seniors did a great job throughout the season.”