Blue Springs South soccer ends long road drought against Broncos
Blue Springs South boys soccer coach Todd Findley doesn’t have a lot of great memories playing at Lee’s Summit North High School.
He noted that his Jaguars always seem to be snake bitten when they play there.
In fact, they haven’t won at North in a long time. The records on MSHSAA.org go back to 2009 and South hasn’t won a single game against the Broncos on the road since then.
Early on Monday, it appeared the Jaguars were snake bitten again when they sent a barrage of shots at North goalkeeper Jackson Reynolds, but he stopped all of them during the first 28 minutes.
But with the way the Jaguars created chances and dominated possession, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before they would score. They ended the drought with a goal in the 29th minute and South (4-1-2, 1-0) scored three unanswered goals to win 3-1, ending a long road losing streak against their longtime Suburban Big Eight Conference rivals.
“When we had the lead in the past, Lee’s Summit North came back and beat us every time,” South coach Todd Findley said. “A lot of seniors wanted to change that pattern and they did.”
South held a 14-4 advantage in shots on goal and pressured Reynolds early and often. But the senior transfer from Idaho stood on his head in the net. He stopped a close-range open shot from all-state forward Jacksyn McIntyre early. He also made a leaping save on a header from McIntyre in the second. Reynolds finished with 11 saves.
“Jackson had a phenomenal game tonight,” North coach Ryan Kelley said. “There was not much he could do on any of those three goals. He did a great job coming off his line and stopping a couple of crosses.”
Even with Reynolds being a moving wall in the net, the Jaguars weren’t discouraged.
“We had a lot of chances up top and had a lot of energy at the beginning of the game, which made me happy,” senior defender Brandin Johnson said. “Our forwards worked hard and kept getting shots on goal.
“We practice keeping possession and moving forward.
While Reynolds kept South at bay, North went up 1-0 following a corner kick from junior Nolan Piedimonte that was placed near the upper right corner of the Jaguars’ net. Senior Blake Landaverry flew in to knock in a header in the 24th minute.
South finally broke through to tie it about 5 minutes later. McIntyre sent a pass to junior Isaac Kratt, who put in a close-range shot near the left post.
“We knew South has been playing really well and we knew we were going to have our work cut out for us,” Kelley said. “We struggled with our possession but we are working on it and getting better. We were getting stuck on our third of the field, so we tried to play it further up the pitch later in the game.”
That score held until halftime. McIntyre helped produce the go-ahead goal with 34:27 left in the second half when he made a strong run on the right side of the North penalty box, sent a perfect backward pass to freshman Kaden Edwards, who slipped a shot inside the left post for a 2-1 edge.
“Jacksyn made a good run and made a good pass to me,” Edwards said. “I was ready for the pass.”
Johnson then added some insurance late in the second half. He received a long cross from junior Aiden Scofield while making a run in the center of the penalty box. He made a sliding kick that rainbowed over a North defender and over the outstretched hands of Reynolds for the final tally.
“My teammates told me to go forward, so I went,” Johnson said. “Aiden played me a great ball through and I was able to put it away.”
Added Findley: “As the center back, Brandin really steps to a lot of balls and saves us. Once in a while, he makes some glory runs like that. That athletic move he made was a brilliant move on his part.”
The Jaguars proved they had multiple players who can score outside of McIntyre, making it much harder for opponents to defend them.
“We really feel like this is a special group and we are well rounded,” Findley said. “Everyone knows about Jacksyn. He’s going to score his goals. If he doesn’t, he’s going to set up his teammates. We have a lot of different weapons that can score.”