With a big crowd on hand for the Third Annual Pink Out Game to raise money for Breast Cancer awareness, the first 50 minutes of the main event – the Lee’s Summit North and Lee’s Summit West girls soccer teams squaring off – lacked drama.
But the final 30 minutes more than made up for it.
The Broncos sandwiched a pair of goals around a Titan goal – all of this happening in a 13-minute span – to walk away with a 2-1 victory April 21 at the Broncos Athletic Complex.
“We were both feeling each other out a little bit,” Broncos head coach Ryan Kelley said of the first half. “I thought we were a little timid. It was a different game and a different atmosphere. But we got that goal from Hannah (Bomar) and that was huge.”
Bomar started the flurry of action when she rifled a ball into the upper left corner of the goal almost 55 minutes into the game for a 1-0 Bronco lead, but the Titans didn’t waste any time in responding when a Bronco foul gave Maddi Cipolla a free kick at the top of the box less than two minutes later.
She didn’t waste her opportunity, as the ball ricocheted off the top crossbar and just past the goal line for a 1-all tie.
“We’ve been struggling with finishing,” Titans head coach Todd Krey said. “It would have been easy to fold after they scored, especially when we were controlling the game a little bit. I’m proud of the way the girls responded.”
But the final response came from North, when Addie Merrick lofted a free kick toward the goal. A header got past diving Titan goalkeeper Savannah McCoun, only to see it hit the left post, but Madison Chapman was there to put it in the back of the net for the game-winner.
“She put in a good ball,” Kelley said of Merrick. “We were unlucky but the girls were crashing in. We haven’t always done that, but Chapman was there to put it away.”
Added Chapman, “I was racing with two other girls and the goalkeeper was coming out. I had to stay focused. … You always have to be there. Anything can happen that close to the goal.”
Krey knows that all too well.
“We’ve got to go up and get that ball,” he said.
Both teams came out more aggressive in the second half after the feeling out process in the first half, and it showed as the game became much more physical.
“We talked at the half about how a lot of our possession in the first half was side-to-side,” Kelley said. “We wanted to get forward and run at them. We needed to be more aggressive.”
While Krey was also glad to see his team pick up the physicality, something they’ve had trouble doing at times this year, he also felt like they continued to make positive steps in their shot-taking.
The Titans are trying to find a way to make up for the scoring they lost when standout Jaycie Johnson graduated.
“At this point we have no true finisher,” Krey said. “It’s a learning process. We showed a little bit more today. The girls are mentally seeing it and stepping up to take those shots.”
The Titans fell to 3-7 on the season, while North – the No. 6 team in the state in the latest poll – improved to 7-4-2, despite losing eight players from last year’s team.
“We have really grown as a team,” Chapman said. “We’re very team-minded. We have the mindset of 'I work for you, you work for me.' We work as one.”
On the subject of working as one, the fundraiser was once again a smashing success, as both schools came together to put on another successful event.
“It’s a great atmosphere,” Krey said of the game. “The parents work on this thing almost year-round. They had about $17,000 to $18,000 raised last I heard. It’s unbelievable that two schools are able to do something like this.”