Evening of firsts for Blue Springs against Chrisman

By Cody Thorn
Special to The Examiner

Monday night proved to be a lot of firsts for the Blue Springs girls soccer team.

Coach Shannon Cunningham picked up her first win at the helm in a 5-0 shutout over William Chrisman at Peve Stadium. Blue Springs freshman Ella Rowley notched the first, three goals of her career and picked up her first hat trick.

Classmate Brooke Alsup and sophomore Kameryn Bush added their first high school goals, as well, in the home win.

Cunningham is in her second year as the girls coach, but last year ended before it fully started due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wildcats played in a jamboree, and then MSHSAA put a halt to competitions and ultimately the season.

She picked up win No. 1 in her second game, after Blue Springs lost 6-0 to Lee’s Summit West last week.

“It is awesome being out there and getting that first win,” she said.

Blue Springs (1-1) got a pair of first-half goals to take an early lead against the Bears.

Bush scored on a shot that bounced in the goalie box in and out of the arms of Chrisman keeper Kennis Wohletz, then rolling into the back of the net in the 13th minute. In the 31st minute, a fortunate bounce led to another goal for Blue Springs.

A cross pass turned into a shot attempt from the left side and a deflection by Wohletz, but the ball bounced into the middle of the field to Alsup, who sent a laser shot into the net to make it 2-0.

The youthful Wildcats, who started six freshmen, got a hat trick from Rowley in the second half. The younger sister of former football standout and now Northwestern offensive lineman Conrad Rowley, scored in the 43rd, 50th and 66th minutes.

“The program is looking up,” Cunningham said. “The freshmen go out there and are leading the program; that tells us the program will be huge (in the future).”

Blue Springs got two shots off in the first minute after halftime and continued to dominate the time of possession against the Bears (2-2). Chrisman didn’t get a shot on goal in the second 40 minutes, and senior Gabby Elliott posted a shutout.

Elliott is one of three seniors that started for the Wildcats. The others were right in front of her in defenders CJ Cowick and Lily Queen.

“We wanted to work harder after the loss (last week) so we could get a win at home,” Cowick said. “It feels good to change how we played from the last game and improve. I have missed it so much, and I love playing under the lights with all of my friends.”

Chrisman suffered its second loss in a row and has been outscored 12-2 in losses to Blue Springs and North Kansas City. At the same time, the Bears were without five usual starters due to injuries against Blue Springs.

“A big reason we have struggled the last few games is because we have not found our identity yet and we are not clicking yet because of injuries and people being moved to positions where they are not the most comfortable yet,” Chrisman coach Justin Schmidt said. “We hope to have more consistency coming up. A lot of the goals we are allowing the last couple of games, I think, is mistakes we can fix going forward. We were just sloppy a little bit, and we had new players tonight and a lot of new faces. We talked to the girls; no excuses who we have or who we are missing.”

Both teams play Thursday. Blue Springs travels to Liberty, the reigning Class 4 champions from 2019. Chrisman stays close to home and will play at Van Horn.