With just three new starters in the projected lineup, one of them a freshman goalkeeper, Blue Springs South’s girls soccer team might well feel like this season is simply a continuation of the last one.
That continuation got off to a smooth start Friday at Ted Chittwood Stadium, as South peppered host Raytown with a flurry of early goals, then steadily added on throughout the second half until Brooke Howe’s goal with 1:53 left produced a 10-0 season-opening mercy-rule win over the Blue Jays.
“I’m very pleased with the effort,” said South coach Todd Findley, whose team played without three starters due to previous spring break plans. “After the first couple weeks of practice, this is the first available competition day, and I just like to jump out on this day and get a chance to evaluate.”
Junior forward Emily Griffin recorded a hat trick for the Jaguars, and sophomore forward Sarah Friermuth had two goals.
Friermuth, Kayla Ellis, Griffin twice and Abbey Widick all struck in the first 19 minutes to give the Jaguars a 5-0 lead they carried into halftime after Raytown got its defense ironed out. Nina Stine, Howe, Peri Rainey, Ellis and Griffin were credited with assists.
“We just have some really good soccer players,” Findley said. “Their spacing in the open field, their ability to possess and find the open player was a joy to watch.
“Almost everyone returned from last year, and they’ve developed such a good rapport. They’re just picking up where they left off, and it’s fun.”
Mollie Maupin booted in a 22-yard strike in the 58th minute; Rachel Landon punched in a 12-yarder after Raytown couldn’t clear out a scramble two minutes later; Griffin lifted a 23-yarder over the Raytown goalkeeper Brynn Deatherage in the 70th for her third goal; and Friermuth won a scramble at the goal mouth to poke in her second goal in the 77th. Howe took a pass from Friermuth to score the game-ender.
“We were really solid tonight on defense, and midfielders opened up to the forwards,” Griffin said. “Our goalkeeper was good. We’re doing really well, and the chemistry’s really good this team.
Senior Kayla Wood, filling in as goalkeeper for projected freshman starter Megan Swanson, made a save in each half. Findley added that he was impressed with Deatherage’s presence for Raytown.
“I know that seems hard to say when you score 10, but she played fine,” he said.
South’s junior varsity needed less than a full half to also record a 10-0 mercy win.