At the pace sophomore Aliyah Ayala is scoring goals, Fort Osage girls soccer coach Michael Brown doesn’t think the record will be broken any time soon.
Unless it’s Ayala doing it.
She continued her tear Tuesday in the Class 4 District 14 tournament at home. She notched a hat trick to help lift the Indians to a 5-0 win over Truman in the semifinals.
The Indians (19-1) will take on Blue Springs, which defeated William Chrisman 3-0 in the other semifinal, at 6 p.m. Thursday.
“We’re so excited! This is amazing!” Ayala exclaimed. “We worked our tails off this season as a team. We knew this was a serious game. We knew we had to had to bring the intensity.”
It was the first playoff win for the Indians since 2013 and they will appear in the first district championship championship game since 2010, They have never won a district championship in program history.
“(Assistant coach Scott) Tacke has been here since 2005 and he can’t remember the last time we played in a district final,” senior Megan Lyon said. “This is a special moment for us.”
Ayala has been a huge part of a successful formula for Fort Osage. She increased her season total to 61 goals.
“Honesty, I did not (think she would score more than 60 goals in a season),” Ayala said. “I couldn’t have done that with Megan or any of my other teammates.”
Brown said he’s never coached a player that has been as gifted at scoring as Ayala.
“She’s a special girl,” Brown said. “When she gets in front of the net, you know she’s going to bury it. I said that the banquet, what I like about her the most is that she’s humble and she’s hard working. She’s natural gifted, but she earns her success.”
She did against the Patriots.
Ayala scored on a pass from Lyon in the fifth minute for a 1-0 lead. Lyon then get in on the scoring action when she received a pass from Ayala, split two defenders and put a shot inside the left post for a 2-0 edge in the 11th minute.
After Ayala was fouled in the Truman penalty box, she made a penalty kick in the 14th minute and completed the hat trick when she deked Truman goalkeeper Abagail Mortensen, who came off her line to challenge, and put in a goal into an empty net. Freshman Elayna Lamb was credited for the assist on the play.
Lyon capped the scoring when she received a pass from Emma Brown and powered through an initial blocked shot by Mortensen and put in a goal on a second effort in the 70th minute.
“They are good friends,” Brown said of Ayala and Lyon. “Megan made sacrifices and has worked well with Aliyah. She’s assisted on some of Aliyah’s goals and vice versa. They are an awesome pair.”
Truman ended its season with a 4-13 record during a season that coach Manny Tovar said was a rebuilding year. The Patriots will lose five seniors to graduation.
“A rebuilding year, that’s what we expected overall,’ Tovar said. “We got some players back from injury. (Mariah) Schramm played her first game in a while. It’s been a long time for her to get in. We will just try to improve for next year.”