Fort Osage girls soccer coach Andrew Fletcher and sophomore Leigh-Anne Bartlett believe there were some games over the past few weeks of the regular season where the Indians didn’t play hard.
Thursday night’s 2-1 loss to visiting Staley, however, wasn’t one of them.
“We’ve lost five games out of seven – and (against) teams we beat earlier in the season,” Fletcher said after the Senior Night loss. “Everybody was a little disappointed. The message was, ‘Hey, let’s get back to where we were at the beginning of the year, where we play hard.’”
Although Fletcher was disappointed with the result Thursday, he was “OK” regarding the Indians’ effort, he said.
Bartlett said that the Senior Night setting was key to Fort Osage’s effort.
“We realized that it was our seniors’ last night (to play at home), so we stepped up a lot to try and get them a win for their last game,” the sophomore forward said.
There are two seniors in Fort Osage’s program, including the junior varsity and C teams: Taylor Lloyd and Emily Shinoda.
In the 16th minute, the Indians saw a result from their hard work, when Bartlett beat Falcons goalkeeper Jan Harvey on a challenge and lined a shot into the far corner to give Fort Osage the opening lead.
“I saw where the goalie was, and I positioned the ball just perfectly,” Bartlett said.
Harrison Hayworth tied it in the 37th minute by slipping a moderately paced roller past Indians keeper Lydia Calderon. In the 50th minute, Lydia Parker beat Calderon on a challenge and lined in the game-winner.
Thanks in part to Parker’s goal, the Falcons finished the regular season 14-7 overall and 11-1 in the Suburban Middle Seven. The conference champions begin Class 3 District 16 play next Wednesday at the Park Hill District Soccer Complex.
“We’re excited to get on with postseason play,” Falcons coach Johnny Chain said.
The Indians finished the regular season 11-9-2 overall and 7-5 in conference. They’ll begin postseason play against Blue Springs in the Class 3 District 14 semifinals next Tuesday at Truman.
Bartlett believes the Indians can go deeper into the postseason than they did in 2013, when they defeated Truman in the first round of districts and lost to Lee’s Summit North in the semis.
“We’re starting to work together a lot better, and our passes are coming together really well,” she said. “We just need to work on our finishing a little bit more.”