With one late strike of the ball, Dalton Souder lifted Lee’s Summit over rival Lee’s Summit North in the Class 3, District 14 championship game 1-0 Nov. 7 at Truman High School.
On the right side, Souder passed the ball off to Aaron LaPaz for a give-and-go around a defender and Souder sent a rocket from 25 yards out inside the far post in the 73rd minute.
“We’ve been practicing that all year,” Souder said. “It’s probably something I’ve done a 100 times this year. Finally it paid off at the biggest time. Great stuff to Aaron LaPaz, though.”
Bronco goalkeeper Parker Johnson didn’t have a chance on the shot.
“He smoked it,” Lee’s Summit head coach Dave Wiebenga said. “That’s a fantastic strike. You’re not going to see many goals at this level better than that. You ask, often times, your big-time players to step up big time and all of our big-time players stepped up and played huge tonight.”
Roman Pena was only tested a few times in the Tiger goal, but came up with one big save in the first half. Cody Hoffman cut inside from the right and curled a left-footed shot toward the far post. Pena tipped the ball enough to keep LSN from going up 1-0 in the 17th minute.
Hoffman, North’s biggest goal scoring threat, got only a few chances to score and didn’t see much of the ball in the second half.
“I think they marked him pretty well and defended him intelligently,” LSN head coach Tim Richardson said. “We tried to move him around a little bit and see if we could get him the ball. It didn’t come to him tonight.”
Lee’s Summit senior midfield Jake Wood man marked Hoffman and had others help double team, which contained the dangerous forward.
“Jake did a great job,” Wiebenga said. “What we asked him to do; it was fantastic. We went with the game plan and we stuck with it and we were able to manufacture the goal. This has been a team that one (goal) oftentimes has been good enough. They fight and they scrap and they find a way.”
Both teams played even in the first half with each team getting a couple of chances to score.
The Tigers sent in a couple of dangerous crosses in the first half, but either couldn’t get anyone on the other end or hit a shot at Johnson, who collected five saves on the night.
A short corner in the 25th minute led to the only other good chance Hoffman had, another shot from the top of the box on the right side. After a deflection or two, the ball bounced up to Pena’s hands. Pena finished with three saves.
The outcome reversed several previous trends: the Broncos won both match-ups earlier in the year, 2-1 in overtime on Sept. 25 and 1-0 on Oct. 22, no current Tiger had won a district championship and no current Bronco had lost in district play.
“There’s no better feeling (than beating LSN),” Souder said. “That’s a great team over there. North is a great team, well coached, great players. It’s tough to beat a team three times in a row and we came out determined.”
“We’ve had three games with them this season,” Richardson said. “All three games have been one-goal games. Both teams are pretty even and tight, so that’s the way the ball bounces sometimes.”
The Broncos finished the season with an 18-4-1 record while the Tigers, 14-6, advanced to sectionals against Rockhurst Nov. 12.