Gwen Maggard's goal just 31 seconds in overtime lifts Blue Springs South girls soccer team
It was windy and wet and coach Todd Findley's Blue Springs South Jaguars could not have cared less.
They were having the time of their lives as they played host to Lee's Summit North Tuesday in the first Suburban Big Eight conference match of the season.
While coach Ryan Kelley's Broncos scored first, a spectacular goal by Ashley Borron off a corner kick by Ellie Stafford in the 27th minute, the Jaguars scored a game-tying goal in regulation and the game-winner in overtime to earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory.
Freshman goalkeeper Siman Loethen starred in the net for the Jaguars, while sophomore Avery Albin scored the first goal and freshman Gwen Maggard scored the game-winner off an assist from junior Maddie Rosenblum.
"You know, I don't think our girls noticed that it was cold and wet because they were having too much fun," Findley said after his team improved to 2-0. "It's been two years since we played – and we won our first game (3-1 over Columbia Rock Bridge) Saturday and won our first home game and conference matchup tonight.
"And I was loving every minute of it. Our seniors were sophomores last time we played two years ago and Avery missed out on her freshman season last year (because of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the cancellation of all spring activities) and Siman and Gwen are new to the team. We have the perfect blend of older kids and our youngsters showed everyone tonight what they are capable of."
Loethen's smile lit up the entire South soccer complex when asked about Maggard's game-winning goal just 31 seconds into overtime.
"There was relief, and excitement and just a great feeling – I really can't explain it," Loethen said. "When our girls tied the game up in the second period and it went into overtime I just felt like we were going to win, and to win in 31 seconds made it even better."
Maggard credited Rosenblum for the winning goal.
"I got the perfect pass from Maddie and all I had to do was kick it in the net," Maggard said. "This was just such a great team win. It's all so new for all of us (Loethen and Albin) because we're freshmen, and Avery couldn't play because last season was canceled, so she missed out on an entire season. We're all excited about our start this season and how well we can play the rest of the season."
Albin agreed that it was a team win, adding, "It's great to win at home and it's great to win our first two games of the season. Everyone is playing so well that we're all excited."
North's Kelley was also excited, even though his Broncos lost their season opener in overtime.
"We played so well," Kelley said. "There are some things we can work on – we had a couple of defensive lapses – but I'm sure Todd talked about not playing for two seasons, and it just feels so good to get back out to play. He's got a great young team, and this is going to be a brutal conference to play in this season.
"Even though we lost, it was a great night. We're playing soccer – and any night you play, it's a great night."