Lee's Summit North rallies past Jaguars with the wind at its back
Down 1-0 going into the second half and having a 20 mph wind at their backs, the Lee’s Summit North girls soccer team seemed to have a renewed sense of energy after a sluggish first half.
That’s what appeared to happen in Monday’s game against Suburban Big Eight Conference rival Blue Springs South. Behind a three-goal outburst, two of which were from 40 yards out or farther, the Broncos captured a 3-1 win at home.
“We played poor in the first half and we were making a lot of mistakes,” North coach Ryan Kelley said. “I think having the wind helped them relax a little bit. We got more focused and started connecting on passes.”
North (5-7, 4-4 Big Eight) controlled possession throughout and took advantage of the wind. After having seven shots in the first half, it more than doubled that with 15 in the final 40 minutes.
The first score came after sophomore defender Ann Boehnlein drilled a pass from almost 50 yards out from the far right sideline that landed near South’s left post. Senior midfielder Lauren Draney took advantage of the accurate pass and put in a close-range shot to tie it 1-1 early in the half.
“That goal from Lauren really woke the girls up,” Kelley said.
Junior defender Meah Piedimonte then put the Broncos ahead for good in the 51st minute when she took a shot from about 43 yards out. It appeared South goalkeeper Siman Loethen was going to get the save. However, the ball bounced up high and went over her head and into the net to give North a 2-1 edge.
“I was not expecting that to go in,” Piedimonte said. “It kind of took a weird bounce, but I am really excited because that was my first goal of the season. I am back on defense. I don’t get a lot of opportunities.”
About two minutes later sophomore defender Ellie Stafford tried her hand at a long-range shot. She hit one from about 45 yards out that deflected off the fingertips of Loethen, bounced off the right post and went in for the final score.
“I didn’t really see (the shot) because I got fouled really hard,” Stafford said. “It probably gave me some momentum to hit it. She ran me over.”
Meanwhile, the Jaguars (5-8, 2-6) were stagnant on offense. They only managed one shot on goal in the second half which came with about three minutes left. It was easily stopped by North goalkeeper Maddie Sibbing, who picked up the slow roller.
South only had two shots on goal in the first half when it had the wind advantage. One of them went in as freshman Gwen Maggard put in a close-range shot off a long diagonal feed from the right side by senior Braylee Childers.
It didn’t help matters that the Jaguars were missing three starters due to quarantine and a red card from a previous game.
“We gave it everything we could with the wind at our backs and could only muster the one goal,” South coach Todd Findley said. “Coach Kelley got his girls fired up in the second half. They came out like wildfire, and we couldn’t keep up with them. We ran out of gas in the second half.”
The Broncos avenged a 2-1 overtime loss to South in the season opener, and Kelley said the difference was the experience his team gained through 12 games.
“We were figuring it out on the fly that game,” Kelley said of the season opener. “We had some girls who never played high school soccer before. Our defense was disorganized and were using a different formation.
“Since then the girls have done an amazing job communicating and working together. And they have gotten better every day.”