Gibson, Stars too much for Broncos in sectional

Michael Smith
The Examiner

Lee’s Summit North coach Ryan Kelley said he knew his team would have its hands full defending St. Teresa’s Academy forward Katherine Gibson. 

In Tuesday’s Class 4 girls soccer sectional playoff against the Stars, North’s defense had a hard time slowing down the Marquette commit as she notched a hat trick to help her team capture a 4-0 victory at Lee’s Summit North High School. 

The Stars dominated possession from start to finish, holding a 16-8 shot on goal advantage over the Broncos and Gibson was at the forefront of that, using her speed to get behind North’s defense. 

“It’s hard (to defend Gibson),” Kelley said. “She’s got good speed and really good strength. She is very good on the ball. We knew we were going to have to defend her as a team. She showed why she is a quality player like she is.” 

Gibson put in a rebound off a deflection from North goalkeeper Maddie Sibbing in the eighth minute for an early 1-0 edge. Junior forward Emily Franklin scored on a similar shot midway through the first half to extend the lead to two, a score that held until halftime. 

The overall team speed was too much for the Broncos (9-13) as the Stars continued their onslaught in the second half. Fifteen minutes in, Gibson received a cross from a teammate and put in a close-range shot for her second goal. 

She completed her hat trick when she put in another point-blank rebound midway through the second half. 

“They have a lot of good players. I think they have three or four going (NCAA Division I),” Sibbing said of the Stars (15-3), who have won nine straight and are ranked seventh in the Class 4 state power rankings by the Missouri High School Soccer Coaches Association. “There’s a lot of pressure. We already lost to them earlier in the season and that added more pressure. 

“They play a lot faster than we are used to.” 

Added Kelley: “Their girls up top can run. We couldn’t keep up with them. It wore us down.” 

North was still able to muster some chances with eight shots on goal, but all were stopped by Stars goalkeeper Emma Bessenbacher, who was aggressive all game. She made a diving save on an open shot from North’s Natalie Allen and challenged a shot from Trinity Wheeler at the top right corner of the box and knocked the ball out of bounds. 

“We knew we were going to be limited there,” Kelley said of his team creating chances. “We just had to make the ones that we got count and we didn’t. We had some shots go just wide.” 

Sibbing played well in the net, also, stopping 10 of 14 shots. 

“Maddie was awesome today,” Kelley said. “We knew she was going to make saves and at least keep us close. She had a tremendous game and she is one of the top goalkeepers in the area for sure.” 

It was an up and down year for the Broncos, who started 1-5 and finished the season winning three out of their last four games, and capturing their seventh straight district title. 

“We showed a lot of heart this season,” Kelley said. “We really grew as a team week to week. They improved playing as a team, and they really bought into playing as a group, and that was the key to them having a lot of success. They showed an ability to play at a high level.” 

St. Teresa's advances to meet Park Hill South in a state quarterfinal Saturday.