Cordilia Payne delivers on coach's wishes in Van Horn district soccer semifinal rout

Michael Smith
Special to The Examiner

Van Horn assistant girls soccer coach Mallory Simons made sure to remind junior forward Cordilia Payne about what he told her before the game.

“I told you, you were going to score a lot of goals in this game,” Simons said to Payne after Monday’s Class 3 District 15 semifinal game against Kansas City East.

Turns out Simons was correct. Payne tallied five goals against the Bears as her Falcons rolled to a 9-0 mercy-rule victory at William Chrisman High School.

Van Horn (17-4) advanced to the district championship game and will play crosstown rival William Chrisman (7-12) at 6 p.m. Wednesday for a sectional playoff berth.

It was the third time this season that Payne scored five goals in a single game. Van Horn head coach Zach Wilson had a feeling Payne was going to have a big game, as well.

“I told her we were preparing for the playoffs and that she needed to pick it up,” Wilson said. “‘We need you to start scoring goals.’ Tonight, she did. After she started scoring, I told her to save some goals for Wednesday.”

Payne admitted she was disappointed that she didn’t get six goals, but was still happy with her performance.

“(Simons) said, ‘You better score a lot today,’” Payne recalled her coach saying, “so I tried to and I did.”

Van Horn struggled to adjust to the wet turf for the first eight minutes, not scoring a goal until Payne made a header off a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Anya Linstrom for the first goal in the ninth minute.

“We didn’t connect on passes as well as we should have,” Linstrom said. “Coming in knowing that we beat this team a couple of times by mercy rule, it was hard to come in and play our absolute best.”

Payne put in a close-range rebound in the 16th minute and scored halfway inside the penalty box after a center pass from Linstrom just 15 seconds later. She scored Van Horn’s fifth goal on a counter attack after her steal and then put in a rainbow shot over East defense in the 30th minute.

Freshman forward Adrianna Lara scored a pair of goals inside the East penalty box, and Linstrom also scored two goals while accomplishing a rare feat. Both of her scores came on corner kicks that she curved into the net.

“A lot of times, especially when I use my left foot, I seem to be able to curl it in,” Linstrom said.

Added Wilson: “That was the weirdest thing. No one got a foot to it. There were really wet conditions and those kicks just hit the turf and slid right in.”

After the dominant win, the Falcons turn their attention to Chrisman, which they beat 3-1 on April 1.

“They’re a good team,” Wilson said of Chrisman. “They had a tough schedule and they had a bunch of injuries. Their record is super deceiving.”

WILLIAM CHRISMAN 8, WINNETONKA 0: William Chrisman head coach Justin Schmidt said he liked how his team often had balanced scoring and didn’t have to depend on one or two players to provide all of the offense.

During Monday’s Class 3 District 15 semifinal matchup against Winnetonka, five different players scored in a rout at home.

“Our scoring is very spread out,” Schmidt said. “It’s pretty even on the stat sheet with goals and assists. That’s what we love about our team. We don’t have to rely on a few players.”

Sophomore midfielder Cameron Wells led the charge for the Bears as she tallied a hat trick, scoring the team’s first three goals.

“One of those was definitely luck,” Wells said.

Junior forward Emma Gervy added a pair of goals on a close-range rebound and a shot she slid inside the left post. Sophomores J’Lea Berry and Karis Ramel and freshman Aariana Paprocki each added a goal.

“We did really well with our passing and through balls,” Wells said.

Even after the lopsided win, Wells and Gervy weren’t completely satisfied.

“I think we have a lot to work on, especially for Wednesday’s game,” Gervy said. “We need to keep the ball on the ground, but I am happy with how everything turned out.”

Schmidt said his team will use Tuesday’s practice to get ready for Van Horn Wednesday.

“We need to work on things that we can’t get away with against Van Horn,” he said. “We got away with some things today. We have to do a better job of getting the ball on the ground and connecting passes.

“We did a good job on spacing and actually showing and not running away and looking for those through balls to our forwards.”