SOCCER ROUNDUP: PC unable to make it 2 straight vs. rival Smithville

A span of 20 seconds took Platte County’s situation from bad to significantly worse in the biggest rivalry game of the regular season. Smithville senior forward Austin Johnson fired in two goals in the 35th minute to help the visiting Warriors to a 4-1 win Monday, Sept. 28 at Pirate Stadium, avenging a loss to the Pirates in last year’s Class 3 District 16 championship game. Platte County (6-5-1) grabbed an equalizer in the first half with hopes of grabbing a second straight win in the series but instead stumbled to a second straight loss since upsetting Park Hill last week.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Platte County senior defender Isaac Martin (11) heads a clearance away from goal in a match against Smithville on Monday, Sept. 28 at Pirate Stadium.

“We’ve been inconsistent,” Platte County coach Ashlyn Brantley said. “It’s just one of our lulls. The ball we don’t go in for, a 50-50 ball. We lose leads to other things when we’re not on our toes. That’s our lull in the game. We have to be more consistent in our play and being at a high tempo.”

Smithville opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Trent Williams curled in a shot at the near post from the edge of the 18-yard box. The shot was one of a bevy of early attempts from the Warriors on

Platte County goalkeeper Bailey Ride, who made 11 saves but could do nothing about the goals.

Platte County sophomore Chandler Peterson leveled the match 14 minutes later after a nifty darting run through the Warriors defensive lines. He received a pass from senior forward Baylor Cox before splitting the defenders, dribbling past a diving goalkeeper and tapping the ball into the net to level the score at 1-1.

“It was awesome,” Brantley said. “It shows our guys aren’t giving up, which you saw toward the end there, too. We’ve done that in other games as well coming back. It’s good to know, as a coach, that they have that fight in them.”

Johnson’s pair of goals followed, and Eric Rodriguez provided the final tally in the second half, curling a shot into the net from the top of the box in the 56th minute. Johnson laid the ball off to his fellow senior, who sent the shot inside the right post.

Platte County scored a pair of second-half goals last season to take the district crown from Smithville, which had won the previous five district titles and dominated its rival for years.

In last year’s regular season meeting, Smithville won 1-0. Much like last year, Platte County has been unable to string together a win streak — no more than two in a row — so far this season and will have to hope for revenge in a postseason setting against Smithville to make the state playoffs for a second consecutive year and third time overall.

“We came out with that mentality (that we beat them in districts),” Brantley said. “It’s just being consistent. I think it’s a good idea that we see what they have. They are a beatable team. I think our guys can go in to (a potential rematch) understanding that. It’s going to be a fight. It’s a fight every time we meet them.”

Park Hill South 4, Park Hill 0

Danny Gunderson scored twice in the first half, and the Panthers’ four goals in the opening 40 minutes held up in the first Suburban Conference Red Division meeting for the rivals this season Monday, Sept. 28 at Park Hill District Soccer Complex in Riverside, Mo.

Park Hill South moves to 11-3 on the season and 6-0 in Suburban Conference Red Division play. Park Hill fell to 7-9 and 3-3 in league.

The two teams meet again in the regular season finale on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Tyler Pisoni opened the scoring in the 10th minute following a free kick. Ryan DiBernardo collected a rebound from the initial shot and slotted it across goal for Pisoni to finish. Colton Smith scored the second goal in the 18th minute off a Carson Cavitt-Wells corner kick.

Gunderson’s first goal in the 25th minute was a flick on header at the near post on a long throw-in from

Seth Hudson, who made his second start of the season. Gunderson’s second goal capped the scoring in the 38th minute when Michael Panella won the ball back deep in Trojans territory and provided the assist.

Evan Morrow recorded the shutout.

Platte County 3, Park Hill 2

The Pirates squandered a two-goal halftime lead, but senior midfielder Jonah Hoppe provided the late winner, allowing them to avoid overtime Wednesday, Sept. 23 at Park Hill District Soccer Complex in Riverside, Mo. Hoppe scored off of Cox’s free kick in the final minute of regulation, moments after Ride made one of his 12 saves to deny Park Hill on a breakaway.

Park Hill took 21 shots total.

Peterson scored twice in span of 3 minutes in the first half to put the Pirates up 2-0. Brandon Ruoff cut the deficit in half 5 minutes later for Park Hill, knocking in a full volley off of a corner kick, but the Trojans didn’t equalize until Felipe Silva beat Ride with 3 minutes to go in regulation.

Cox set up Hoppe’s goal, and Cox ended up with assists on all three Pirates’ goals.

Platte County 4, Grandview 0

The Pirates grabbed their first Suburban Conference Blue Division victory on Tuesday, Sept. 22 in Grandview, Mo.

Hoppe, Cox, Peterson and Jonathan Anguiano scored once apiece. Peterson also notched three assists, while Cox set up another. Grandview totaled 10 shots, and Ride (eight saves) and Turner Hess (one) combined on the shutout.

Belton 6, Platte County 1

Platte County finished their busy week by dropping to 1-3 in Blue Division play, losing for the second time this season to Belton. Peterson scored Platte County’s only goal Thursday, Sept. 24 at Pirate Stadium.

Park Hill South 5, Liberty 1

Pisoni and Gunderson scored twice apiece, leading the Panthers to a dominant Suburban Conference Red Division win Thursday, Sept. 24 at Park Hill District Soccer Complex in Riverside, Mo.

Gunderson broke a 1-1 tie in the 22nd minute in a one-on-one situation after a long ball from Hudson, an all-state defender playing his first game since an offseason knee injury. Turner Hall added another in the 23rd minute to send Park Hill South into the break with a 3-1 lead.

Pisoni, who put Park Hill South up 1-0 on a header off of a cross from Tanner Alderson in the fifth minute, added his second in the 54th minute on an assist from Hall, and Gunderson closed the scoring with a late penalty kick.

Liberty briefly drew level in the 19th minute on Johnny Hegger’s shot from 30 yards out to beat Park Hill South goalkeeper Evan Morrow, who ended up with four saves.

Park Hill 3, Lee’s Summit North 1

The Trojans overcame a one-goal deficit Thursday, Sept. 24 in Lee’s Summit North. Christian Fulmer, Silva and Nico Bosmediano provided the goals for Park Hill in the nonconference victory.

Park Hill 2, St. Joseph Central 1

Playing a third game in three days, the Trojans escaped with a Suburban Conference Red Division win Friday, Sept. 25 in St. Joseph, Mo. Ruoff provided the winner with a powerful header off of a cross from Silva.