Lee’s Summit’s girls soccer team came down to Raymore-Peculiar on May 8 with plenty on its plate.
First, the Tigers wanted to continue their recent string of solid play. On top of that, they knew the meeting with the Panthers had postseason implications, with the No. 1 seed in the upcoming district tournament theirs for the taking.
On both counts, the Tigers succeeded, downing Ray-Pec 3-1 and securing the top seed in next week’s Class 3 District 13 tournament, which will be played at Ray-Pec.
“We talked about that at the beginning of the season,” Lee’s Summit coach Dave Wiebenga said. “Not only do you have to take care of your conference opponents but you also have to take care of your district opponents. This was a huge win for us.”
Lee’s Summit, 11-4-1 after beating Liberty 2-0 on May 12, closes out its regular season May 14 at Notre Dame de Sion. Then comes district play, which begins May 19 against the winner of May 17’s Belton-Ruskin matchup in the first round.
Lee’s Summit secured the top seed with another all-around effort highlighted by well-crafted goals and solid defense. Jacque Sampson scored two goals, and goalkeeper Alexis Gochnauer was a rebound away from a shutout.
“The girls really stepped up,” Wiebenga said. “One of our biggest problems of the season last year is that we lost a lot of games 1-0, 2-1, but we’re winning these games now. That’s a big change from a year ago. And I’m so proud of every single one of them.”
Wiebenga said the Tigers’ first goal was the biggest. Playing into a stiff South wind in the first half, Lee’s Summit still moved the ball downfield and set up Sampson for a score less than two minutes into the game.
“We did it quickly, we got a nice goal and it was huge,” Wiebenga said. “It set a nice tone for the match.”
Ray-Pec did strike back when Baylie Edwards rebounded a shot that came straight down off the crossbar with 4 minutes left before the half.
“I got my hand up and it hit the bar and came straight back down,” Gochnauer said. No one was on the back post marking, but that’s something that happens. We came back from it.”
Ray-Pec would have few chances after that. While Gochnauer and the defense kept Ray-Pec away from the net, the Tigers tacked on two more goals in the second half. Sampson scored her second on a set piece off a direct kick with 18:41 to play, and Maddie Huser knocked in a shot by Morgan Maxwell that ricocheted off the post with 13:13 to go.
And with that, Lee’s Summit was set to return to the same field next week with the top seed.
“We’ve definitely got our confidence up by getting wins that past couple of weeks.,” Gochnauer said. “We’ve had a couple of strong weeks in a row and that’s gotten everyone’s confidence up to play a little better.”