The temperature dropped 20 degrees from the first kick to the final whistle. A stiff north wind and an off-and-on drizzle added to the misery.
Welcome to October soccer.
“It’s that time of the year,” Blue Springs South soccer coach Jon Grice said. “It’s crazy. You’ve got to be prepared for anything on the field and off the field.”
On what devolved into a cold and dank Thursday night, Blue Springs South overcame the elements well enough to record a dominating 3-2 victory over host William Chrisman. South (5-8) controlled play for most of the game and kept Chrisman (3-10) away from the net until the final minutes.
All of this while dealing with the first frosty night of the season.
“It was tough,” Blue Springs South forward Jacksyn McIntyre said. “But we adjusted well to it. We got touches in, we adjusted to the ground and I feel like we worked harder and got the first couple of goals.”
McIntyre, a sophomore, scored the first and the last of the Jaguars’ goals and got them both in similar fashion. A well-placed through ball from senior forward Joel Sterling set McIntyre up for a shot inside the far post in the 20th minute. Dylan Shuker gave him another through ball for a point-blank shot in the 55th minute.
“They were great balls for me to flick on to,” McIntyre said.
Grice was happy to see McIntyre get his brace because goals had been hard for him to come by during Suburban Big Six play. He almost had a hat trick – he headed in a corner kick early in the second half, but it was called back when the official said he made contact with Chrisman goalie Javier Merino.
“He came out the first few games of the season like a rocket,” Grice said of McIntyre. “He’s always a threat, he’s always an option and he’s someone we look to try to get us a few goals here and there.”
Shuker, who sailed a penalty kick over the crossbar in the sixth minute, connected on a long shot to the far post in the 24th minute for a 2-0 lead the Jaguars took into halftime. Blue Springs South outshot Chrisman 13-4 in the first half as the Bears struggled to find any offense.
That trend continued until the 73rd minute, when Chrisman junior forward Tom Beem scored the first of his two breakaway goals. Beem’s second one came in the final two minutes.
“They sprung through a couple of counters we just weren’t ready for,” Grice said. “They just outworked us in the last five minutes.”
It was too late to keep Chrisman from another loss (and their ninth by one goal), but the Bears did get to end the chilly night on a positive note.
“Tom did a great job,” Chrisman coach John Straub said. “He was able to keep his head up and he was able to find some space and his goals were the result of his hard work.”
And while they didn’t get a break from Mother Nature, Blue Springs South did enjoy a break from what has been a difficult run in the Suburban Big Six. The Jaguars, 1-5 in conference play, resume their Big Six schedule Monday at Lee’s Summit West.
“It’s been a tough year,” Grice said. “Our conference being as tough as it is, it’s nice to come out and impart our will on the other team. It was kind of fun.”