After 49 minutes lacking for offense, Lee’s Summit netted two goals in a minute’s span on its way to a 3-0 win over Raymore-Peculiar April 15 at Hertzog Stadium.
Neither team created many chances to score, and the few chances taken didn’t trouble either goalkeeper in the opening half and the first nine minutes of the second.
That all changed in the 50th minute.
Jacque Sampson converted on a penalty kick to put the Tigers up 1-0 after Abigail Brown took down Payton Seymour on the endline.
How a team reacts to the first goal of the game shows a lot about that team.
“We weren’t following up a goal with another goal (last year),” said Tigers’ coach Dave Wiebenga. “And tonight we followed that up with another goal and then added a third goal late that put it away. That’s just growth. I’m really, really pleased with the maturity and the growth we’re seeing right.”
About a minute later, Sampson hit Courtney Killian in stride, and Killian hit a shot from the right corner of the penalty box into the upper corner of the far post, leaving Panther keeper Emily Thuss with no chance.
“From that angle with the spin she put on it to have that tuck right in the corner was timely,” Wiebenga said. “(Being) 1-0 (behind means) you’re one shot from being right back in it, but 2-0, now you’ve got to put some work into it. That was fantastic. We followed that, what, a minute later? That was great.”
Kennedy Strain sealed the victory for the Tigers, putting away a loose ball in the box in a scrum with seven minutes left.
A personnel switch from Lee’s Summit at half led to a tactical change that created havoc on the Panther defense. The Tigers started finding room in behind Ray-Pec’s defense on diagonal passes, like the one that led to Killian’s goal.
“No communication,” Ray-Pec coach Jason Watermann said. “We were worried about them scoring instead of us being the aggressor like in first half.
“We had the confidence. Then once (Lee’s Summit) start connecting passes, in any soccer game when you start connecting passes, you start keeping possession, the other team that doesn’t have the possession is going to start losing confidence, and that’s what we started doing.”
Ray-Pec found some success early in the game going out wide and getting the ball toward the corner flag on the right side, but the Tiger defense dealt with the crosses without problem.
Lee’s Summit keeper Alexis Gochnauer made three saves on the night, all fairly comfortably.
“Our defense as a whole, that whole back line was fantastic tonight,” said Wiebenga. “Lexi did a great job of organizing the defense and doing the clearances she needed to do.”
Annie Shackleford forced a diving save from Thuss and Alyssa Gann sent a header off a corner wide in two of Lee’s Summit’s better chances in the first half as the Tigers outshot Ray-Pec 12-5 on the night.
The Tigers moved to 5-2-1 overall and 1-2 in conference play with the win.