The first three goals for Platte County lacked style and did little to stifle the opposition’s will.
In fact, Raytown South players seemed to relish a sense of competition as the three-goal deficit remained in place for much of the first half. The Pirates dominated possession but couldn’t seem to properly frustrate an overmatched Suburban Conference Blue Division foe.
Destinee Smith ended up with four goals, and Kianna Castro added a hat trick in an 8-0 victory Monday, May 1 at Pirate Stadium — a comfortable victory that didn’t quite satisfy Platte County’s expectations.
“I would say that we lacked focus, and we lacked quality of skill,” said Castro, a senior midfielder. “I think our shots were off, but overall, it was an OK game.”
Smith, a junior forward, scored two while Castro had one for Platte County in the early barrage, but the Pirates’ best goal of the first half came in the 28th minute.
Brittany Alvarado, a junior right back, dribbled in diagonally before lofting a pass into Castro, who collected and tucked the ball neatly underneath onrushing Raytown South goalkeeper Kynah Alexander to make it 4-0. The athletic sophomore compounded Platte County’s scoring issues, making a handful of acrobatic stops on the way to 12 saves.
Smith finished her hat trick in the 48th minute with a nifty finish over Alexander, and Platte County’s leading scorer added her fourth minutes later. Alexander stopped a rocket in the box in the 54th minute to initially deny Smith, but on the Pirates’ next attack, she fired a shot from 22 yards out that caromed off the goalkeeper and in to make it 6-0.
Castro poked home a deflected pass in front of net in the 61st minute, and Platte County emptied the bench late.
“We didn’t come out like we should have,” Platte County coach Ashlyn Brantley said. “We came out slow, and I expected us to be a little more mentally focused and prepared, but it just didn’t go that way.”
Platte County entered off encouraging performances in a loss in penalty kicks to Raymore-Peculiar and a 1-0 win over Park Hill South — both solid Class 4 programs.
However, the Pirates fired 40 shots at Raytown South but only converted a handful of chances. They often struggled when attempting to make the final pass, occasionally taking a shot early when another touch might have created a better opportunity.
“We’ve had time in between (Ray-Pec and Park Hill South). We’ve slept quite a few nights in between there,” Brantley said. “We’ve got to be ready to come out like that each game, no matter who we are playing. That makes the difference between good and great teams.”
Hannah Valentine, a sophomore midfielder, finished off a frustrating day with a shot in off the post on an assist from junior midfielder Hanna Hall in the 69th minute for Platte County’s final goal. The pressure remained up until the final whistle with sophomore Katelyn Evans just missing on two well struck shots — one curling just around the far post and the other stopped by one Alexander’s best saves.
Platte County did play without senior left back Amanda Sullivan (leg), junior reserve Haylie Jerome (illness) and freshman forward Alexis Guillory (head). The Pirates also continue to be without part-time starter in goalkeeper, junior Faith Burtchell — still out with a leg injury.
Jaylee Wiedmer didn’t make a save and touched the ball only three times to earn the shutout, helping Platte County improve to 12-6-1 overall and 7-1 in Blue Division play.
Raymore-Peculiar 2 (5), Platte County 2 (3)
For the second time this season, the Pirates went to penalty kicks, and the loss leveled their record in tiebreakers.
Smith scored twice in the first half, and Platte County led 2-1 at halftime of the nonconference match Thursday, April 27 at Pirate Stadium. Raymore-Peculiar scored in the 40th minute just before halftime and equalized in the 61st minute, sending it to overtime tied 2-2.
After two scoreless halves of sudden death play, Raymore-Peculiar converted all five kicks from the spot to earn the win. Platte County beat Smithville in penalty kicks earlier in the season.
Platte County 1, Park Hill South 0
The Pirates prevailed in a matchup with one of the area’s most consistently successful programs in a nonconference matchup Wednesday, April 26 at Pirate Stadium.
Alvarado set up Smith for the only goal. The long ball went into the box, and Smith collided with the goalkeeper while the ball trickled into the next in the 60th minute. Wiedmer kept the clean sheet for Platte County. The two teams had not met at any point in the past decade.
Liberty 2, Park Hill South 1
In a resumed game postponed due to weather a month earlier, the Panthers suffered a tough Suburban Conference Red Division loss.
Liberty took the lead in the first half on a penalty kick from Madison Stottlemyere and then scored the winner late Friday, April 28 at Park Hill District Soccer Complex in Riverside, Mo. The game resumed at the point it was stopped in the first half on April 4.
Scoreless at the time, Stottlemyere converted the penalty in the 26th minute, and the 1-0 lead held until the second half.
Park Hill South leveled in the 52nd minute after senior Lexi Maddox drew a foul on the left side of the box. After the restart, Kate Eischens quickly converted to tie up the match.
Liberty took the lead for good 14 minutes later and held on to move one game ahead of the Panthers in the Red Division standings.