Lee’s Summit had the victory in the bag.
At least the Tigers did until the 1:07 minute mark of the second half, when a mistake led to a Lee’s Summit North goal and an overtime victory in the game Sept. 25 at Lee’s Summit North.
“First off, we were just getting the nerves out of us,” Lee’s Summit North sophomore forward Jackson Willard said. “In the second half, we changed the formation and started playing together. We started clicking better as a team.”
Lee’s Summit scored its lone goal at the 29:00 minute mark in the first half. Sophomore forward Jake Pycior made a corner kick to sophomore defender Michael Gordon, who headed in the ball for a goal.
The Tigers had another chance to score just a few minutes later as Pycior made a corner kick and Tiger teammate junior midfielder Dalton Souder headed the ball toward the goal. Lee’s Summit North junior defender Teddy Gifford kicked the ball away just outside the corner of the goal for the save.
Once again, Lee’s Summit almost scored in the 10th minute as junior midfielder Jake Wood made a corner kick. Souder headed the ball but the Bronco defenders staved off a goal. The ball sailed back toward Wood, who tried it again. Tiger junior teammate midfielder Blake Lines kicked the ball toward the goal, but Lee’s Summit North saved the ball again.
“Our defenders held up well overall against a strong attacking unit and our midfield did as well, in particular freshmen Alex Gregg and Parker Moon that had to stand up against a veteran Lee’s Summit midfield,” Lee’s Summit North head coach Tim Richardson said. “It was a typical hard fought battle and we are encouraged by the toughness our team displayed.”
In the seventh minute, the Broncos had a chance to score as senior midfielder Cody Hoffman had an indirect kick near the 20-yard line. But his kick bounced off the inside goal post and back out onto the field.
In the second half, the game picked up in intensity as several Lee’s Summit and Lee’s Summit North players were issued yellow cards. In the 11th minute, Lee’s Summit North junior defender Trey DeRousse had a chance to score on an indirect kick, but the goal was saved by Lee’s Summit junior goalkeeper Romen Pena.
“I was proud of the way our team fought in the second half,” Richardson said. “Being down a goal vs. a good team like Lee’s Summit was a challenge for our guys but we kept fighting hard and it paid off at the end of the game.”
The fatal red card was issued in the last minute of the half as Lee’s Summit North senior forward Hunter Pickering had a clean breakaway to the goal. In the goal box, Lee’s Summit senior defender Clinton Boyles jumped into Pickering to save a shot at the goal. Boyles was issued the red card and the Broncos were given a penalty kick.
Lee’s Summit North’s Gifford made the goal to knot the score at 1-1.
Willard scored the winning Bronco goal just over two minutes into overtime.
“It was a dream,” Willard said. “It doesn’t even seem like a reality. It’s hard to describe. It just doesn’t seem real.”
The goal was even bigger for Willard and his Bronco teammates because it was against cross-town rivals and Suburban Big Six conference foes Lee’s Summit.
“It is a big game,” Willard said. “Everybody in town is here. It’s a good feeling.”
With the win, Lee’s Summit North moves to 8-2-1 for the season.