Blue Springs South blanked by Park Hill South to open tournament
The Blue Springs South High School girls soccer team gave a bit of a preview to what we can expect Tuesday when snow returns and Eastern Jackson County's temperatures plummet below the freezing mark.
The Jaguars were ice cold in a 4-0 loss to Park Hill South on the first night of the Blue Springs South Invitational.
The offensive-minded Jaguars had a few scoring chances throughout the game, but Panthers goalie Lauren Longenecker and her defensive mates threw up a brick wall that coach Todd Findley's team couldn't solve.
"That's a very good (Park Hill) South team, offensively and defensively," Findley said after his Jaguars fell to 5-5. "And they can score, too. I was really impressed that their first two goals came in the first half against the wind. But once their forwards broke free, they put on some nice moves and were able to score two big goals."
The first goal came in the 34th minute when Adah Anderson fired the ball past South goalkeeper Siman Loethen. Three minutes later Kate Hermelink made it 2-0 with a kick to the high, left corner of the net.
"Those goals were huge – against the wind, and you always want to get an early lead on the road against a great team like Blue Springs South," said Park Hill South coach Jared Byrne, who spent many years coaching at Truman High School.
"They are such a skilled team, very fast and with a lot of great offensive players. A lot of people are going to look at this game and talk about our four goals, which are big. But we won this game because of our defense. When you play that type of defense against a team like South and add the type of scoring we had tonight, it usually adds up to a win."
When asked about getting the early 2-0 lead against the wind, Byrne just grinned.
"We actually like playing into the wind," Byrne said. "I think we actually play better going into the wind because it forces our players to really concentrate on what they are doing out there."
Eight minutes into the second half, Arley Anderson, Adah's senior twin sister, scored the third goal for the Panthers, and Olivia Clemons accounted for the final score with a goal in the 59th minute.
"A tournament like this is great because you see quality teams like Park Hill South and Lee's Summit, who we play Tuesday at 4 p.m.," Findley said. "You want to win every time you play, but you can learn a lot from a game like this and that will help us later in the season."