Park Hill soccer perseveres to stop losing skid

Park Hill found some resolve to earn a much-needed win Tuesday, Sept. 12.

A pair of early goals provided a big lead that evaporated by halftime. However, the Trojans overcame a controversial goal in the closing seconds before the break to earn a 3-2 win over Liberty at Park Hill District Soccer Complex in Riverside, Mo.

Park Hill entered having scored just one goal during a six-game losing streak.

“We’ve struggled in the first 10 minutes of games so far so we really focused on starting on the front foot and being mentally sharp,” Park Hill coach Josh Marchbank said. “We really controlled the first 30 minutes and had some really good sequences moving forward. Giving up the goal with one second left was very frustrating.

“We challenged the boys at half to be resilient and bounce back.”

In the 60th minute, Salah Sheik scored the eventual winning goal for Park Hill.

The buildup started with a throw-in down the right sideline to sophomore right back Austin Favela, who beat two defenders before seeing his initial ground cross deflected back at him. Favela sent in a second ball, and Sheik used a right-footed shot to beat Liberty’s goalkeeper.

Park Hill’s first goal came in the 16th minute when Nick Bender, a sophomore, sent a shot in from 25 yards out. Liberty’s goalkeeper didn’t move, and the shot slipped inside the post for a 1-0 lead.

Chris Munoz doubled the advantage for Park Hill in the 25th minute off of a corner kick from Jackson Turner. Munoz rose up at the far post for a header.

Liberty cut the lead in half on a counterattack in the 33rd minute before the controversial goal with 1 second left before halftime. The shot slipped in past goalkeeper Gabe Smith despite the Trojans’ appeals for an offsides call in a frantic sequence.

Park Hill came back to improve to 3-8 on the season entering a Wednesday, Sept. 20 Suburban Conference Gold Division matchup with Blue Springs South.

Liberty North 2 (8), Park Hill South 2 (7)

Isaiah McGilchrist scored in the 76th minute to force overtime Wednesday, Sept. 13, but Liberty North made eight of nine penalty kicks to win a shootout after two scoreless overtime halves.

Park Hill South entered with 33 straight wins in Suburban Conference Red Division play, a streak that dated back to the end of 2013 and included three straight unbeaten league titles. The Panthers were in danger of losing in regulation after the Eagles went ahead 2-1 in the 71st minute.

Five minutes later, McGilchrist leveled for Park Hill South on an assist from Alex Hammond.

Mark Allred saved Liberty North’s third penalty kick try, and with successful shots from Nate Newton, Zach Nay, Carson Gates and Ty Rouse, Park Hill South appeared on the verge of stealing the win. Instead, Liberty North’s goalkeeper kept out the fifth.

Park Hill South hit three more penalty kicks before a miss in the ninth round allowed Liberty North to escape.

Park Hill South 4, Truman 2

The Panthers bounced right back with a strong offensive performance in Red Division play Monday, Sept. 18 in Independence, Mo.

Newton’s goal on an assist from McGilchrist in the ninth minute assured Park Hill South never trailed, but twice Truman provided quick responses to keep the match interesting. Two minutes after the opener, Truman tied it at 1-1, but Isaac Henn’s goal in the 33rd minute sent the Panthers into halftime up 2-1.

Gates (assist to Sebasttian Panimbosa) made it 3-1 in the 52nd minute, but Truman scored in the same minute to close the gap back to one. Newton finished off the scoring with a penalty kick in the 64th minute.

Park Hill South improved to 6-4-1 overall and 3-1 in the Red Division.