Kassi Ginther was so close to the record it almost seemed inevitable. Still, when the Summit Christian Academy senior became the all-time goal scorer in Missouri high school girls soccer, the moment came as somewhat of a surprise.
“I had no idea,” Ginther said. “But then my dad was like, ‘that was the third goal you scored.’ I hadn’t realized it.”
Three was the magic number going into SCA’s game against Burlington, Iowa last Friday in the Eagles first game in a tournament in Hannibal, Mo., and her third goal in the Eagles’ 6-2 victory was the 233rd of career, putting her past the 232 scored by Morgan Marlborrough of Lee’s Summit North from 2006-09. And that win would be the first of three for the Eagles as they went on to capture the tournament championship.
Keeping track of all those goals isn’t easy for Ginther, who already had 58 of them this season before SCA played Tuesday at Maranatha Academy. She scored a state-record 89 last season in leading the Eagles to the Class 1 state tournament, which put her within striking distance of the career mark.
“Kassi didn’t even know she was close, which was great,” SCA girls soccer coach Amber Siemsen said. “We all knew and we were counting down and she didn’t even know what we were counting down to. So it was a good time.”
Ginther can tell you that the record-setter wasn’t anything that spectacular, at least to her.
“It was just a one-on-one with the goalie and I just slid it past in the left corner,” Ginther said. “That was the goal that broke the record.”
And even though Siemsen was well aware of where Ginther stood, the big moment slipped by her at first as well.
“When it happened I didn’t realize it until after the game because we were so involved in that game,” Siemsen said.
Burlington would be the only team to score on SCA in three games. Ginther wound up with five goals in that one, and she scored another eight in a 10-0 rout of Macomb, Ill., in their second game. The Eagles capped their tournament run with a 6-0 win over Maryville, a Class 2 state quarterfinalist last season. Ginther had three goals in that game, while Abby Nelson added two goals and Alyssa Pemberton chipped in one.
“We got off to a rough start in the first game, but they got it together in the second game and we kind of flew through the rest of the tournament,” Siemsen said.
SCA, 12-1, and Hannibal both finished the tournament with 3-0 records, but the Eagles got the trophy for scoring more goals and allowing fewer goals than the host team. Ginther made the all-tournament team, as did Nelson, Savannah Sallas and Riley Painter.
And Ginther brought home a state record, one that will surely keep growing before her senior season ends and she’s off to play for Iowa State. SCA plans to honor her accomplishment before Thursday’s home game against Barstow.
“I was just planning on making the best of my senior year, taking every opportunity I got, whether that was breaking school records or having really fun memories I could cherish,” Ginther said. “But I’m glad and honored I could break this record.”