Brie Severns crashed hard into Grain Valley goalkeeper Raegan Breeding on a breakaway as the first half came to a close Monday night. The Blue Springs South junior forward didn’t get up right away, and soon the cart came on the field to check on her.
A scary moment? Sure, unless you’re Blue Springs South girls soccer coach Todd Findley.
“I can’t say I’m used to it, but she goes down a lot,” Findley said. “She plays with that reckless abandon.”
Severns, as it turned out, was a little shaken but fine. She already had one goal in the first half, and she added three more in the second half as South (3-1) rolled to a 5-0 victory in its home opener at Larry Stewart Memorial Stadium.
Findley has grown used to Severns’ all-out style of play, which helped her score 25 goals last season, earn first-team all-state honors and make an early commitment to play for Kansas. It’s a style that comes in handy when she’s blanketed by defenders, as she often was by the Eagles Monday night.
They can only hold her for so long.
“She’s developed a good name for herself, being a good quality player,” Findley said. “She’s going to draw some attention and she’s still fast enough and gifted enough where she can still really do well.”
Severns hardly considers herself a one-woman show, even if she is accounting for most of the Jaguars’ goals. It helps, she said, to have other players capable of creating opportunities.
“Them opening up and making runs is making the defenders choose and it’s really helped me,” Severns said of her teammates. “Without them I wouldn’t be able to have the open shots.”
Severns began the scoring with a free kick from just in front of the 18-yard box 13 minutes into the first half. She lofted a shot over Grain Valley’s defenders and Beeding.
After her end-of-the-half tumble – “My feet got taken out from under me and I fell on my hip. It popped but everything will be fine” – Severns needed just seven minutes to notch her second goal on a header with an assist from Emma Robinson.
Her hat trick came 10 minutes later, when she got a nice through ball from Abigail Carino and beat Beeding on another one-on-one in the box. She struck again about four minutes later when Beeding came off her line and Severns snuck the ball past her.
Freshman Maddie Rosenblum closed the scoring a minute later with a point-blank shot off a pass from Severns.
“She’s the best pure goal scorer in the area,” Grain Valley coach Tyler Nichol said. “She’s that good. We did really good in the first half, but in the second half we gave her too much space.”
Grain Valley, 2-3 after playing five games in nine days, struggled to stop Severns and start any offense of its own. South dominated possession in both halves and allowed the Eagles few opportunities in the box. South goalkeeper Alaina Werremeyer faced only two shots on goal as she recorded her third shutout this season.
“We’re playing really good team defense,” Findley said. “It’s been a focus of ours to be talking to each other and helping each other out and they did a superb job tonight.”
South will be back on its home field tonight to open Suburban Big Six play against rival Blue Springs. Another effort like Monday night’s certainly would please Findley. So would not seeing his top scorer not getting tangled up in another scary crash.
“It’s hard to ask a player like that to hold back a little because she gives 100 percent at all times,” Findley said. “But it’s a little nerve-wracking when she goes in hard like that sometimes.”