Ready or not, it’s postseason play time in girls soccer. By all indications, Lee’s Summit North appears more than ready.
The Broncos certainly looked ready May 13, when they beat Blue Springs South 2-0 at the Bronco Athletic Complex. That gave the Broncos a six-game winning streak before their regular-season finale against Raymore-Peculiar May 15 and plenty of confidence and momentum going into next week’s Class 3 District 14 tournament.
North, 14-5-2 going into its final game, will have the No. 1 seed in the tournament at Truman. The Broncos will face either Truman or Raytown at 5 p.m. May 20 in the semifinals.
“I feel like we’re ready,” North goalie Bailey Doerflinger said. “We’re using each game as like a building block to stay focused. We’ve already sealed our conference, so we want to stay focused and ready for districts.”
Broncos coach Ryan Kelley has seen that focus, especially in the last couple of weeks when the Broncos had to fight hard for wins at Park Hill South and Notre Dame de Sion. And he saw it that night in another all-round solid effort against the Jaguars.
“This game tonight and a couple of games earlier this week have shown we’re getting into the mind set of taking each game a little more seriously and not having letdowns,” Kelley said. “Our girls always seem to find a way to get the ball in the back of the net, keep the other team away from the goal.”
The Broncos did both against Blue Springs South, even if the Jaguars offered a little help in the scoring. The defense, except for the opening minutes of the second half, held the Jaguars in check as Doerflinger recorded her 10th shutout of the season.
“Right now we have such a strong defense,” Doerflinger said. “If we’re having a shaky game on offense, having a hard time scoring our defense is always there to make sure we stay in it.”
North’s first goal came with 27 minutes to play in the first half on a shot by Alexis Mitchell, who took a pass inside the box.
The Broncos lead remained 1-0 until they got an own goal from the Jaguars 11 minutes into the second half. Keelie Fothergill put the ball across to Madison Chapman, who was right in front of the goal. Her shot, however, went off the foot of a Blue Springs South player and into the net.
“Technically, it was an own goal, but I’m sure Keelie and Madison would want me to write it down for them,” Kelley said.
So now, the postseason awaits. Kelley doesn’t want to look too far ahead, but the Broncos know they could face Blue Springs in the final if they get past their first district game. Blue Springs was the last team to beat the Broncos up to that point, and their lackluster effort in that 1-0 home loss April 29 still stings.
But he doesn’t his team to get too ahead, or full, of itself.
“It looks good for us on paper, but there is absolutely no guarantee,” Kelley said. Every game will be tight; every game will be a fight from here on in.”