Truman goalkeeper Francisco Bonilla stood tall in the net Wednesday night.
The junior stopped a barrage of Rockhurst shots on goal in the title game of the Class 4 District 14 tournament Wednesday night on the Patriots’ home field, but in the end, the top-seeded Hawklets came away with a 2-0 victory.
“That was Francisco’s best performance of the season – maybe the best of his career,” said Truman assistant coach Patrick Dent, who is filling in for head coach Manny Tovar while he is away on maternity leave as his wife recently had a baby. “He did everything to help us win tonight. He was fantastic, and I know he feels bad that we didn’t win, but like I said, he turned in the best performance of his career at Truman.”
The Hawklets had a string of six shots in four-minute period in the first half and finally scored when Josh Pileggi took a crossing pass in front of the net and sent it past a diving Bonilla for a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute.
That score stood until Caden McLagan, the son of Blue Springs High School girls soccer coach and former Kansas City Comets player Doug McLagan, scored on a penalty kick in the 74th minute.
“Our first goal was big because we scored against that wind,” said McLagan, referring to a 23 mph wind that came out of the north. “The way their goalie was playing, any goal was huge.
“He played as well tonight as any goalie we faced all season.”
When asked about his penalty kick, McLagan added, “Having a two-goal lead that late in the game was pretty big. Even though Truman (7-16) doesn’t have a winning record, we didn’t take them lightly.
“They’re a good team with a very good goalkeeper. They proved that to everyone here tonight.”
Long after the game was over and Dent had talked with his team, Bonilla visited with friends and family members.
“I am proud of the way I played,” Bonilla said after making 11 saves, “and I am proud of the way my team played. Rockhurst is a very good team, and we knew we were going to have to play our best game to compete with them.
“But right now, I feel so bad for our seniors. This is their last game and we didn’t want the season to end tonight. But for me, since I am a junior, I hope to use this performance as so momentum for next season.”
Rockhurst goalie Jonathon Kasper did not record a save as Truman had trouble mounting an offensive attack against the Hawklets (16-6), who have been to seven straight state final fours.
Rockhurst will advance to Tuesday’s sectional playoffs against the winner of Thursday’s Class 4 District 13 championship between Lee’s Summit and Lee’s Summit North.