Second-ranked Eagles use 'amazing chemistry' to stay unbeaten in conference

Michael Smith
The Examiner

The Grain Valley girls soccer team is loaded with talent this season.

Its incredible depth was on display in Tuesday’s Suburban Middle Six Conference matchup with Truman.

Behind the Eagles’ dynamic trio of senior Raena Childers and freshmen Emma Thiessen and Annabelle Totta, they cruised to a 11-0 mercy-rule victory in a game that ended at halftime.

The trio has been a highly touted one as they have helped lead the Eagles to a red-hot 12-1 overall record and 5-0 conference mark.

Childers had a hat trick and two assists, Thieseen also had a hat trick and Totta had a goal and two assists in a game as the Eagles controlled from start to finish.

But not only did those three get to shine, others got in on the action as well.

“We are definitely more talented than I expected us to be,” Childers said of the Eagles, who are ranked second in the Class 3 state power rankings by the Missouri High School Soccer Coaches Association. ”Our chemistry is amazing.”

Rian Handy, one of the Eagles’ most versatile players, played at forward and on the back line against the Patriots (3-6, 1-3). Not only did she score two goals, but she was a part of the back line that held Truman to zero shots on goal and didn’t let them get the ball to Grain Valley attacking third of the field.

“She’s so darn fast. She has so much speed,” Grain Valley coach Tyler Nichol said of Handy. “She is a good technical player who can use both feet and you don’t see that often at this level. We put her in the back a few times and we like her on the wing, too.

“She’s growing in confidence. She has scored a few goals lately. She’s an important part of what we are trying to do this year.”

Childers added that Handy is an aggressive offensive player, which has helped her be an offensive force.

“She communicates very well and demands the ball,” Childers said of Handy. “That’s how I can find her on through balls and she goes through tackles no matter what.”

Along with Handy, freshman Sevreign Aumua could be an X-factor for the Eagles in the postseason. She earned attention this winter when she took third at the Missouri Girls State High School Wrestling Championships in the 151-pound weight class, and finished the season with just one loss.

And while Aumua is an elite-level wrestler, Tuesday she showed she is pretty good at soccer, too. She had a goal and an assist.

“She brings a lot more energy than you think,” Thiessen said of Aumua. “She is always giving it 110 percent and you will never catch her not trying.”

And Aumua’s efforts definitely don’t go unnoticed by Nichol, who said she will be a key piece coming off the bench for the rest of the season.

“She scored an important goal for us at Belton last week (a 3-1 win),” said Nichol, whose team's only loss is to Class 4 No. 8-ranked Notre Dame de Sion. “She’s growing in confidence, too. She is very aggressive and she isn’t afraid to go into a challenge with anybody.”

Junior midfielder Lexi Arriguin added a goal for the Eagles and senior Sophie Broockerd and freshman Kylee Bragaw each added an assist.