The Fort Osage girls soccer team had two main goals coming into the 2019 campaign.
One of those is to win the first district championship in program history. The Indians will have a chance to do that next week when they go in as the No. 1 seed in the Class 4 District 14 tournament.
On Tuesday, the Indians accomplished their other goal by clinching the outright Suburban Middle Seven title with a 6-0 win against Belton at home.
The Indians improved to 17-1 overall and 11-0 in the conference and will have a chance to finish undefeated in league play in the regular season finale Thursday at Raytown.
This conference crown was a little sweeter than the one Fort Osage had last year as it shared the title with Staley in 2018.
“We’re really excited about it to be honest,” Fort Osage sophomore Aliyah Ayala said after scoring a hat trick to lead the Indians to the win. “That was an accomplishment as a team and we worked really hard for that all season.”
Added senior Megan Lyon: “We had some motivation to win it before districts. We knew we could do it. We just had to stay focused.”
If Fort Osage plays like it did against Belton, a district title could be in its future as it controlled the ball for most of the match. Ayala scored on a breakaway early in the first half and senior Bailee Summers drilled a shot from the right wing inside the far post in the 25th minute for a 2-0 lead.
Ayala completed her hat trick before halftime. She banged a shot into the net on a direct free kick right at the top of the 18-yard box in the 32nd minute, and the sophomore deked a defender with a crossover move and put in a close-range shot for her 54th goal of the season.
“That girl was pretty quick, so I knew I had to do something to get her easy on her feet,” Ayala said, “and I made a move, got past her and got a goal.”
Ayala helped her team take a 5-0 lead in the 38th minute by sending a corner kick deep in the penalty box. Freshman Elayna Lamb rainbowed a header over the Belton goalkeeper and into the net.
“From the first whistle, we set the tone and played the way we wanted to play,” Fort Osage coach Michael Brown said. “Defensively, we limited them most of the game.”
Lyon capped the scoring with a breakaway goal in the 49th minute.
Fort Osage, which is now riding a 13-game winning streak, will be heading into the district tournament with plenty of momentum. Fort Osage plays Truman at 5:30 p.m. next Tuesday in the first round. The winner will play the winner of the Blue Springs-William Chrisman game.
“Blue Springs is definitely a tough match,” Lyon said. “Chrisman is always a hard match. We haven’t played Truman this season, but every time we do, they bring it. We know some girls on the Chrisman team, the Blue Springs team and the Truman team, so sometimes it can be a little personal.”
Lyon added that Fort Osage’s games against quality teams like Park Hill South and Raymore-Peculiar should help them during the postseason.
“The game against Ray-Pec was a hard game, but we were able to get that one,” Lyon said. “We trailed but came back strong. Then Park Hill South was a wake-up call (in a 6-1 loss). It’s showing us what it’s going to take to be successful in districts.”
So what will it take for the Indians to win their first district title ever?
“It will take a lot of hard work and discipline,” Brown said. “With the way we play and attack, if we can set the tone from the beginning of the match, we’ll put ourselves in a good position to be successful.”