Grain Valley routs Truman to cap undefeated girls soccer conference title

Bill Althaus
The Examiner

Grain Valley sophomore Camihle Williams could have brought a lounge chair, a cold glass of tea and a laptop to Truman High School Thursday afternoon.

Her Eagle teammates made life extremely comfortable for the sophomore goalkeeper in an 11-0 victory over the host Patriots in the regular season finale that capped an undefeated Suburban Middle Six Conference title.

Raena Childers scored the first of four goals just 2 minutes in and that opened the offensive floodgates for the Eagles (17-2-1), who are ranked second in the state in Class 3 in the Missouri High School Soccer Coaches Association state power rankings.

Grain Valley's Sevi Aumua, right, is congratulated by teammate Lexie Arreguin, center, after scoring a goal in the Eagles' 11-0 win at Truman Thursday.

"My girls really took care of me today," said Williams, who did not face a shot in the win over Truman that took just one half because of the mercy rule. "We knew we had the chance today to get a big game, and we played hard – but never wanted to embarrass Truman because their girls really worked hard and never gave up the whole game.

"Next week we start district play, and we will be facing much stronger competition and we will all be ready for that. I know that every game will not be like this one, and I will be ready mentally and physically."

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Freshman midfielder Emma Thiessen, who assisted on Childers' first goal and added two goals of her own, agreed.

"We went into today's game wanting to play a complete game, a game that would get us ready for district next week," Thiessen said after the Eagles finished 10-0 in the Middle Six for their first conference title since joining the Suburban Conference three years ago. "We are all so thankful to have this season because the girls at the school didn't have a season last year because of COVID.

Grain Valley freshman forward Emma Thiessen (3) pokes a shot in for a score in Thursday's game against Truman. The Eagles won 11-0 in just one half in their regular season finale to complete an undefeated Suburban Middle Six Conference title.

"I don't think anyone really knew what to expect with all our younger players, like me, and we've had so much success and so much fun. It's been great, and Raena has been our leader all season – at practice and at games."

Childers has enjoyed a stellar season for the Eagles, who host the Class 3 District 14 tournament beginning at 5 p.m. Monday against Ruskin.

"This season has been amazing," Childers said. "We have so many new, young players and they are great players and great people. I love every one of them. And although we've just played together this year – after missing out on last year – we have a chemistry that is a big part of our success.

"I can just make a nod, or look a certain way and I know exactly what to expect. And that is great, especially when you're a senior. You want to go out on a successful season and I think this season is even more successful than we expected."

Grain Valley freshman midfielder Meghan Knust, right, sweeps a pass to a teammate on her left as Truman's Vanessa Canejo (9) moves in during Thursday's game at Truman. Knust and the Eagles won 11-0 to complete an undefeated run through the Suburban Middle Six Conference.

Eagles coach Tyler Nichol said he is excited about the start of postseason play.

"First off, I want to let Manny (Tovar, the Truman soccer coach) know how much we respect his team and how hard his girls played," Nichol said. "We had to work for our goals, and his team is young and inexperienced and they are going to just keep getting better and better.

"As far as the playoffs go, we're really excited to see what happens. We open with Ruskin and we'll take it from there. No one really knew what to expect this season and I am so proud of our girls. They have made this a very special season."

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Sevi Aumua added two goals and Meghan Knust, Annabelle Totta and Lexie Nicholson also scored for the Eagles.

Tovar said he is proud of the competitive drive of his Patriots, who never quit working in the 40-minute loss.

"We talk every game about playing hard and never giving up," said Tovar, as his team wrapped up a 4-11, 1-9 regular season. "And they never gave up. You can learn a lot about your team and your players when you play a great team like Grain Valley, and we played with a lot of heart and intensity and had fun, even though we lost the game."