After his team secured its first district title in five years, Lee’s Summit girls soccer coach Dave Wiebenga reflected on how far the Tigers have come.
One year ago, Lee’s Summit finished 7-10-1. The Tigers scored 27 goals and gave up 27 goals.
Now Lee’s Summit is 14-4-1 and the champion of Class 3 District 13 after beating Lee’s Summit West 4-1 May 22 in the title game at Raymore-Peculiar. And these Tigers have outscored their opponents 71-16 while giving up less than a goal a game.
All of which made the Tigers first district championship since 2009 all the sweeter.
“It’s been a little bit of a drought,” Wiebenga said. “Five years is too long. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs the past year.”
Powering the Tigers’ upswing has been a multifaceted offense, which features seven players who have scored five or more goals. Three Tigers scored against West – Maddie Souder twice, Jacque Sampson and Courtney Killian.
Lee’s Summit took a 2-0 lead on two quick goals midway through the first half. Souder scored the first one on a breakaway, and Sampson had hers three minutes later.
Sampson, who leads the Tigers with 12 goals and 19 assists, took a cross from Killian and flicked the ball in off her head.
“I call that the Sumo goal because she looked like a Sumo squatter getting her head on it,” Wiebenga said. “She flicked it to the back post and it went in.”
Those goals, West coach Todd Krey said, helped change the complexion of the game.
“That put us in a tough hole because we were playing with them, doing some good things and knocking the ball around at that point,” Krey said. “It put us in a quick hole going into halftime.”
That hole became deeper when Lee’s Summit struck for another quick pair of goals early in the second half. Killian put a shot into the upper right corner of the goal six minutes into the half and Souder followed with her final score four minutes later.
Lee’s Summit West got on the board when Mackenzie Hill headed in a long restart kick from Kaitlyn Barnes with 18 minutes left, but the end was drawing near on the Titans’ 9-12-1 season.
“It’s not the year we wanted to have,” Krey said. “But they never quit, they fought hard every game. A lot of people didn’t expect us to be where we were today.”
Lee’s Summit was expecting a matchup with either Lee’s Summit North or Blue Springs in sectional play May 27. North and Blue Springs played for the District 14 title on May 22.
But first, the Tigers were going to enjoy their district crown. For a little while.
“It’s an accomplishment for four hours, and then we get up bright and early for practice,” Wiebenga said.