SMITHVILLE, Mo. — Park Hill won the Smithville Tournament for a fourth straight year but not without a little adversity and finally a breakout offensive performance.
In the finale, Saturday, April 8, the Trojans scored a 10-0 mercy rule victory against Harrisonville at Smithville High School. The 10-goal barrage improved them to 2-0-1 for the tournament, and they won a tiebreaker with Staley for the title through goal differential.
Coming off back-to-back Class 4 quarterfinal appearances, Park Hill played a heavy early schedule and has scored more than three goals just twice.
“We have already played a lot of games this season, and I think this is good for us to win this tournament because we have won it four years in a row and it lifts our spirits a little bit and keeps us motivated,” said Park Hill junior Alison Walls, who had one of two hat tricks for Park Hill in the win against Harrisonville.
Chais Wright, a junior defender, scored two of her three goals in the first 5 minutes. Walls then set up a goal for Kylie Aulgur in the initial barrage — one of three assists in the first half.
Park Hill led 8-0 at halftime.
“We learned some lessons about being able to come out and play the game quickly,” Park Hill coach Brandt Bell said. “The end result with the tournament title is good, but I definitely think there are things that leave us room to improve on the weekend.”
Sarah Hibbeler scored twice, while Ayana Weissenfluh added one. The two sophomores were a part of a diverse attack in the second of two games on the day.
Wright’s third goal even finished off the 10-0 win in the 61st minute, giving Park Hill an early break.
“We had a lot of girls that stepped up and played a lot of minutes and did a good job for us so it’s good to get to see everyone in the game to help with the success as a team,” Bell said. “Hopefully, it continues on for us since offense is obviously a big part of soccer so having a game where we get some more action on offense is good.”
Park Hill improved to 6-2-2 overall ahead of another busy week, slated to start with a Suburban Conference Gold Division matchup with Blue Springs South on Tuesday, April 11. The result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.
Park Hill 1, Staley 1
A draw in Saturday’s first game led to some uncertainty about the title.
Tied 0-0 at half, Park Hill dominated possession but struggled to finish in addition to Staley using a tight defensive line to force numerous offsides calls. Weissenfluh broke the stalemate late in the second half on a pass from senior defender Jenna Winebrenner.
However, Staley earned the draw on a counterattack in the waning minutes. Park Hill junior goalkeeper Kelbey Emerson stopped the initial shot on the breakaway, but Staley put in the rebound.
Park Hill 3, Smithville 0
Hibbeler, Weissenfluh and Dragana Andonovski scored one apiece in the Friday, April 7 opener against the hosts. Walls assisted on two of the goals.
A freshman midfielder, Andonovski scored her first goal on a long shot to the back post for the highlight goal. Bell opted to rest many of his starters in the second half ahead of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Lee’s Summit West 2, Park Hill 1
The Trojans suffered their second loss of the season and dropped to 2-1 in Gold Division play Thursday, April 6 in Lee’s Summit, Mo. Walls scored their only goal.