Lee’s Summit North girls soccer coach Ryan Kelley owed his Broncos 10 pushups after their 1-0 Suburban Big Seven win Thursday night at Blue Springs South.
“For every goal they score, I do 10 pushups,” Kelley said. “It worked in a training session last week — and so, hopefully, it gives them a little spark going forward to finish some more chances.”
Junior forward Kaylie Rock, whose game-winning goal in the 79th minute resulted in Kelley doing the pushups, said Kelley’s gesture has motivated her.
“I love seeing Coach Kelley do pushups,” Rock said.
Rock gave herself the pleasure of seeing Kelley do the pushups by heading in a corner kick from junior forward Halle Hill.
“Early in the game, Halle sent another ball just like that and it kind of just went perfectly to my head – and I just missed wide,” Rock said. “So I knew that with the corner kick she was going to place it in the exact same spot. I knew exactly where to go.”
For much of the second half, however, South threatened to score the game-winner – and thus, prevent Rock from seeing Kelley do pushups. The Jaguars outshot the Broncos 10-6, including 6-3 on goal, after being outshot 4-3 (3-1 on goal) during the first half.
To South coach Todd Findley, the Jaguars’ second-half offensive tear was like their first-half performance of South’s 5-2 win at North in April.
“We were on fire the first half and really put it on them,” Findley said of the first meeting with the Broncos. “They kind of sparked in the second half, but we already had a pretty good lead.”
Findley said he felt that a few factors might have resulted in the Jaguars creating more scoring chances the second half than they did the first half Thursday. They included his seniors taking charge, the team’s halftime talk and the Jaguars getting back what he called “some energy and some pride” the final 40 minutes. Findley said he wasn’t “overly impressed with” South’s attack and said the Broncos deserved the victory.
“They played better than us,” Findley said.
The Jaguars, who finished the regular season 12-9 overall and 6-6 in the league. They will look to rebound from Thursday’s loss at 5 p.m. Tuesday at South when they face Fort Osage to open the Class 4 District 13 Tournament. Findley said he must learn more about the Indians (16-2) over the next few days because they don’t play many of the same teams.
“I definitely want to get a look at them because they’ve done some big things this year,” Findley said. “So we’ll need to play well to advance to the finals.”
The Broncos, who finished 8-12 and 6-6 in the conference, will open Class 4 District 13 play at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at South against Blue Springs. The Broncos swept their regular-season meetings with the Wildcats, 2-1 and 2-0. Kelley expects the third meeting “to be a great matchup.”
“Blue Springs has been playing really, really well here of late,” he said. “And the two times that we played them, it was very tough, very difficult.”