Offsides in soccer is a rule designed to stop forwards from cherry picking.

Offsides in soccer is a rule designed to stop forwards from cherry picking.

There apparently are no rules designed to stop Ashley Licata.

Licata circumnavigates the offsides rule by simply outrunning her opponents on all through balls. The Lee’s Summit North junior forward used her speed to score two goals in the Broncos’ 4-2 victory over Lee’s Summit West in the Class 3 sectional Tuesday. The win sends the Broncos to the Class 3 quarterfinals where they’ll host Liberty at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Lee’s Summit North coach Tim Richardson said Licata’s speed is definitely an advantage.

“She’s very quick,” Richardson said. “She’s very willing to make those runs and chase down balls she might think she can’t get to.

“There are very few defenders that can stay with her. We like to set her up.”

Licata said the Broncos  worked on through balls a lot this week to prepare for the Titans.

The practice paid off.

Licata put the Broncos (19-5) on the board thanks to a nice pass from Brooke Burris in the 14th minute. Allie Stephenson made it 2-0 in the 21st minute.

“I think scoring early gave us a little bit of an edge, and we could play a little more at ease,” Richardson said.

Richardson said that’s when his team backed off its high-pressure game and started focusing on defense.

It worked for a while. Then the Titans rallied back early in the second half. West senior Katie Davis scored two goals in the 44th and 45th minutes to knot the score at 2.

“They caught us on our heels, and we did not do a good job in the first five minutes of the second half,” Richardson said. “They were able to equalize things and kind of had us almost in a desperate mode for a little bit.”

A goal by North freshman Madison Blakely in the 53rd minute eased the desperation a little. Another goal by Licata in the final minute let the Broncos breathe easy again.

Richardson said the difference in the game was the Broncos converting their chances.

“Taking advantage of our scoring opportunities,” Richardson said was the key to the victory. “We didn’t have that many. The ones that we got we were able to put in.”

Now the focus switches to getting ready for Liberty, which North beat twice this year.

“We’re so getting pumped for the next game,” Licata said. “We’re really looking forward to try and go back to state like we did two years ago.”

Both games were close. In one, North edged Liberty in penalty kicks. In the other, the Broncos held on to an early 1-0 lead.

“This coming game means a lot to us,” Licata said. “We have beat Liberty twice this season already, and we’re looking forward to do it again.

“But we’ve got to be on our game against Liberty because they’re a very tough team, a very, very tough team.”

Richardson said when playing Liberty even, it often results in a disadvantage because the the Blue Jays (24-3) are so talented.

“Any time you play Liberty, you know you’re going to have to show up with an intelligent game plan,” Richardson said.

Richardson said if they’re not ready, the Broncos could give up a ton of goals in a hurry.

He’s not counting too much on the home-field advantage either.

“I wouldn’t say it’s going to be all that much of an advantage,” Richardson said. “We have a lot of respect for Liberty and know that they can play well anywhere they play.”