Blue Springs had its way with Lee’s Summit North the last time these two played. With a little added grit and determination, the Broncos didn’t let it happen again.
The sting of that loss was still fresh, and Lee’s Summit North used it to fuel a 2-0 victory over the Wildcats Monday night in the Class 4 District 13 soccer semifinals at Lee’s Summit High School.
Lee’s Summit North (9-11-1) will face undefeated Lee’s Summit in Thursday night’s final. Lee’s Summit (18-0) downed Blue Springs South 3-0 in the other semifinal. Two weeks ago, the Broncos hardly looked like a district title contender, not after they suffered a 5-0 loss at home to Blue Springs. That Oct. 16 match came during the throes of an eight-game losing streak and marked the Broncos’ first loss to the Wildcats since 2006.
“They really wanted to come out and change that result from the last time we played Blue Springs,” Lee’s Summit North coach Ryan Kelley said. “Our boys really wanted to make a point to play with a lot of heart and a lot of drive.”
Lee’s Summit North didn’t lack for either in Monday’s rematch. The Broncos used their speed up front to create two first-half goals and push Blue Springs’ defenders. Their defense, meanwhile, hemmed in Blue Springs’ Matthew Martinez and Carlos Llamas, giving neither one much of a chance around the net.
“This time we came to show that sometimes we have off days,” Broncos senior forward Abdeallah Falah said. “But on days when we play as a team, work hard and stay focused, we can beat any team.”
Falah had Lee’s Summit North’s first goal, and it illustrated the quickness that worked so well for the Broncos. Senior defender Connor Lepper sent the ball to Falah from almost halfway across the field for a header just in front of the goal.
“Hand to God, right before the game I said, ‘Find me back side,’” Falah said. “I told him whip that ball in. I have great speed, I have good hand-eye coordination and I can get that ball into the back of the net.”
Will Fuller found the net with a rebound off a corner kick in the 32nd minute, and the Broncos dug in on defense. That helped secure the shutout for Lee’s Summit North goalkeeper John Foster, who saw only two shots on frame.
“We didn’t (stop Martinez and Llamas) last time and they punished us,” Kelley said. “We’ve got to defend better and at times we did, and others we weren’t focused in on it. But I think the guys as a team really committed to that tonight.”
Blue Springs finished 12-11-1 for its first winning season since 2009.
LEE’S SUMMIT 3, BLUE SPRINGS SOUTH 0: Lee’s Summit scored in the opening minutes and never let up as it rolled in the first semifinal.
Blue Springs South (9-10-1) trailed 2-0 by halftime on goals from Lee’s Summit’s Hunter McGuire in the fifth minute and Max Pycior in the 30th. Ian Shores completed the scoring with a breakaway goal in the 75th minute.
Lee’s Summit (18-0), which has conceded only three goals all season, never let the Jaguars have a legitimate chance to score until Jacksyn McIntyre just missed the far post in the 78th minute.