Literally seconds away from a penalty kick shootout, Smithville played a long bounding ball on a free kick from its own half of the field into the box— hopeful but ultimately harmless.
Instead, the referee gave a big reward when he ruled a Platte County defender held the lone offensive player in the area with the ball in the air. Charlie Tietjens stepped up for the penalty kick and converted in the 100th minute, delivering Smithville an improbable tiebreaker in a 3-2 victory Monday, Sept. 25 at Pirate Stadium.
Platte County frustratingly walked off the pitch after a bitter loss to its biggest rival — an important result in Class 3 District 16 seeding. The two teams could see each other again as soon as a place match in Park Hill’s South’s Panther Classic next week, but the Pirates will be hopeful of a rematch at some point.
“Each loss that we have, we always want to learn something — even from the wins,” Platte County coach Ashlyn Brantley said. “But yeah, we use this as motivation. We know we can see them again, and when we do, it’s going to be a fight.”
A scoreless second half featured more tension between the two teams than offensive opportunities.
Platte County ended up in overtime for the fourth time in 13 games and had the first chance to score the sudden death winner. In the 84th minute, Chandler Peterson — the Pirates’ speedy senior forward — curled a right-footed free kick from 20 yards out just wide of the post.
On the other end, a dangerous cross led to a point-blank shot for Smithville in the 85th minute with Platte County junior goalkeeper Kemper York able to make a reactionary save to keep the game going. York, who made four saves, ended up in the net when Smithville, playing a man down after senior defender Ben Keesee received a second yellow and red card in the 95th minute, received the penalty kick.
York dove to his left with Tietjens placing the ball just to the left of center.
“Point blank shot like that and the PK, you don’t expect the keeper to save either one,” Brantley said of York’s effort. “The fact that he saved one out of the two, that’s all I can ask of them. PK situation, they’re not supposed to get those anyway.”
Despite a fast start, Platte County saw a six-game winning streak come to an end.
Peterson tallied his 40th goal of the season in the third minute after some nifty work from junior Blake Cochran on the end line. He beat a defender on the end line before sending a short cross on the ground to allow Peterson a tap-in to make it 1-0.
Smithville struck right back in the 13th minute with Tietjens hitting a right-footed rocket from 23 yards out, banging the shot in off the left post and past Platte County senior goalkeeper Turner Hess (three saves). The Warriors then took a 2-1 lead in the 23rd minute when a miscommunication on a back pass led to a miscued clearance from Hess, and Chris Larson poked home the wayward ball.
“We got out of playing our game,” Brantley said. “We just wanted to look to go long or force certain passes. Once we started doing that, (the game) changed. We lost our opportunities, but to start out, it looked pretty promising.”
The lead lasted just five minutes.
Platte County reserve midfielder Jake Havemeier dropped off a pass to Cochran in the 28th minute, and he fired in a well-placed left-footed shot from 21 yards out to beat Smithville goalkeeper Jace Robinson. The sequence came after the Warriors failed to clear out the Pirates’ first corner kick.
Tied at 2-2, Platte County appeared to be pushing for a go-ahead goal in the minutes after the equalizer.
Peterson sent a shot from 20 yards wide in the 30th minute, and the best opportunity came 2 minutes later. Platte County sophomore midfielder Chase Peterson sent a long free kick to the back post, and Cochran connected with his left foot for a one-time shot that immediately caromed into Robinson and out for a corner kick.
From there, Smithville’s defense organized and let frustration set in for the Pirates during the gridlocked second half.
“We were playing against them, the refs,” Brantley said. “I think our guys got out of it, and I think you could tell. In the future, we have to make sure we stay focused on our game no matter what.”
Platte County (11-2) played without sophomore Grant Allen, who suffered a hip injury four days earlier against Liberty. Brantley inserted junior Conor Hunt at right back alongside centerbacks senior Cole Wedekind and sophomore Carter Hays.
Platte County 2, Liberty 0
The Pirates lost Allen to injury but scored an impressive shutout Thursday, Sept. 21 at Pirate Stadium.
Cochran scored an assist from Chandler Peterson in the second minute, and Platte County never trailed. Klopfer added the second in the 28th minute from Allen before he suffered his hip injury. Peterson was held without a goal for the first time this season.
York made five saves in the second half to keep the shutout.