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Examiner
  • Hat tricks propel Cats past Eagles

  • The teacher got the best of his star pupil Thursday night at Grain Valley High School.

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  • The teacher got the best of his star pupil Thursday night at Grain Valley High School.
    But veteran Blue Springs girls soccer coach Doug McLagan and former Wildcat standout Aleana Balistreri were both able to walk off the playing field feeling good about their respective teams’ efforts.
    Freshman Morgan Hensley and sophomore Shilah Rainey shared the spotlight for the 2-1 Wildcats as each player scored a hat trick, while Reighan Childers and Kali Carson found the back of the net for the Eagles as Blue Springs claimed a 6-2 non-conference victory.
    Hensley was the first to record the hat trick for the Wildcats as she scored two first-half goals just seven minutes apart as Blue Springs took a 3-0 lead after the opening 40 minutes.
    Just more than a minute into the second half, Hensley claimed the hat trick as she fired the ball past Eagles goalie Darby Scharfenkamp.
    “It was funny, because Coach came up to us at the half and said, 'I want each one of you to get three goals,’” said Rainey, who opened the scoring for Blue Springs with a goal in the 23rd minute.
    “We’re like, ‘OK, that sounds good to us.’ And then we were able to do it. It was fun.”
    Rainey scored her second and third goals within a minute of each other in the 70th and 71st minutes to wrap up a big offensive evening for the Wildcats.
    “I was really happy for Shilah,” Hensley said. “It's our first high school hat tricks, and to do it on the same night is pretty special. I want to give Grain Valley a lot of respect. I think we came over here thinking we were going to win this game easily, and they surprised us. They are a very good team, one of the best team's we've played this year.
    “We might have had six goals, but they made us work for them.”
    And McLagan had a special plan for Childers, a sophomore who has developed into one of the area’s top scorers.
    “I'm so happy for Morgan and Shilah,” McLagan said. “I was joking with them about both getting the hat trick at halftime, and they made me look pretty good going out and getting it.
    “They deserve a lot of credit, but so does Gabi Severns, who usually plays midfield. We put her on Childers tonight and she did a great job trying to shut her down. She got one goal, and she earned it.
    “I’m proud of the job Aleana is going out here. This is the first time we’ve ever played Grain Valley and they really did a nice job.”
    Childers and Carson were disappointed in the outcome of the game, but they each knew the importance of playing a much larger school like the Wildcats.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Coach just wants the team to get better,” said Childers, who scored following a pinpoint pass from Sydney Holcomb. “We wanted to win, but we played hard. They are a good team.”
    Carson, who scored off a nearly identical pass from Sam Berg, agreed.
    “We played hard against a good team,” Carson said. “We're getting better every game.”
    The game was special for Balistreri, a 2002 Blue Springs graduate.
    “It's always good to see Coach McLagan, and my plan was to be able to be competitive and play them in the fifth year of our program,” Balistreri said after her team fell to 2-3. “The girls weren't happy about the loss, but they saw what it takes to be one of the area's best teams.”
     
     

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