For as long as Blue Springs South boys soccer coach Jon Grice can remember, Lee’s Summit North has had the Jaguars’ number.
In fact, the Broncos had 19 consecutive wins against South dating back to 2009. The Jaguars’ last win against North came Sept. 17, 2009, in a 1-0 double overtime win.
“They are a perennially solid team,” Grice said of North. “We don’t have a lot of wins against them. Even during our glory days in the early 2000s and ‘90s we didn’t have a lot of wins against them.”
On Monday, South finally ended that drought. Thanks to a much improved balanced offense and a solid defensive effort, the Jaguars moved into a tie for first place in the Suburban Big Six standings after a 3-2 win at Larry Stewart Memorial Stadium.
Lee’s Summit West, South and North are all tied for first place in the conference with a 5-1 record. An upbeat Grice was ecstatic with how his team played and said it was the first time in a while that South has been in first place in the conference after six league games.
“It’s a big win. It’s important for our guys to get that,” Grice said. “Especially with them being in the district now. We’re showing that we’re just as good as everyone in our conference and we have just as much of a chance in the playoffs as everyone else.”
Senior Zian Trober was a part of a jubilant celebration after the biggest win of the season for the Jaguars.
“It’s a great feeling, we came out and played pretty well,” Trober said. “We’re going to go onto the next one and keep rolling. When we have our tempo up and we’re rolling, we can get out there and take it to teams.”
Trober scored the go-ahead goal that helped give the Jags (8-5, 5-1) the win. In the 53rd minute, Brett Vaughn tossed a long throw in deep inside the penalty box and Trober punched it for what proved to be the winning goal.
“It was a phenomenal ball and it landed right on my foot,” Trober said of Vaughn’s throw.
Added Grice: “(Trober) missed one earlier when Bryce sent a ball two feet off the (goal line). The guys were giving him a hard time about the ball he missed. He was upset about it. He got back, and he was over it and got the win.”
In the 28th minute, South junior Parker Welch tied it at 2-2 when he shook a defender with a quick move to his right and sent a rope inside the upper right corner of the goal.
South overcame a pair of leads by North. Kyle Rock scored off a steal and counterattack 1:30 into the game for the Broncos’ first lead.
South junior Dalton Prater tied it when a North defender slipped while trying to clear the ball. Prater raced in to collect it and punched one inside the far post to tie it midway through the first half.
North senior midfielder AJ James knocked in a leaping header off a long direct free kick from Ryan Templeton for a 2-1 lead before South completed the comeback.
“I was disappointed with our lack of focus,” North coach Ryan Kelley said after his team dropped to 7-3 overall. “We didn’t come in with the right mentality to be successful. We thought we could just walk through this game, but South is a really good team. We needed to be ready, and we weren’t.”