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Eagles fare well in summer showcase

The Examiner staff

Grain Valley girls soccer coach Tyler Nichol liked what he saw from his team over the weekend.

After tying Liberty North 1-1 Saturday, his Eagles finished with a win and two ties in their three games in the 2020 Kansas City High School Showcase Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Wyandotte Sporting Fields in Kansas City, Kansas.

The Eagles downed Blue Springs South 2-0 on Thursday afternoon. They followed it with a pair of 1-1 draws against Olathe (Kan.) Northwest and Liberty North Friday and Saturday.

“Overall a successful weekend with a win and two draws against some very tough competition and big schools,” Nichol said. “Biggest thing was just the fun and camaraderie that the girls were able to share together. It was hot and legs were tired, but we had a blast! Doesn’t replace what we missed in the spring, but it was nice to see the seniors one last time and get the younger players some great experience.”

Four seniors got to take the field one last time after their 2020 season was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.

Getting one last chance were Kierra Arndorfer, an all-state midfielder who is headed to Truman State; Kami Drollinger, a defender headed to Hannibal-LaGrange University; Kailey Larson, a forward headed to Metropolitan Community College; and Madison Shields, a midfielder committed to Central Methodist University.

Senior all-state goalkeeper Raegan Beeding was unable to play because she had already left for the University of Tulsa.

In her place, Camihle Williams, who will be a sophomore in the fall, recorded the shutout against Blue Springs South Thursday. Blue Springs South was missing its all-state forward Brie Severns, who was already working out with her Kansas team.

“We wish Raegan Beeding could have been with us but she is already off to Tulsa, and I know Todd would love for Brie Severns to be there too. Two big time players that have left significant impacts on our programs,” Nichol said. “South was definitely at a disadvantage being their second game of the day in the heat and our first.

“We played well and I was happy with the possession and ball movement especially considering the time off since early March. Mostly was just fun to be together again and for the girls to play. We are just thankful for our seniors to play one last time together and for our younger players to get introduced to games and see the level and speed of varsity high school soccer.”

Raena Childers, an all-state midfielder who will be a junior this fall, scored all four goals for the Eagles in the tournament.

After scoring both goals against Blue Springs South, Childers scored on an assist from incoming freshman Anna Totta midway through the second half in the tie against Olathe Northwest Friday. Northwest, which advanced to the Kansas Class 6A final four in 2019, got the equalizer a couple minutes later.

Liberty North scored just before halftime to take the lead in Saturday’s game. Childers, though, tied it with about three minutes left on freshman Kylie Barnett’s second assist of the weekend.