ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Chandler Peterson can make himself a nuisance on the pitch, and when he does, opponents suffer.
After Platte County allowed an early goal, the Pirates senior attacking star became the most dangerous player for either side Monday, Aug. 29 at The Den. He played as a solo striker due to two suspensions and eventually tallied a hat trick — scoring once on either side of halftime to give Platte County the lead and adding his third just before the final whistle — in a 3-1 win.
Peterson’s speed draws attention from defenders and causes problems for them when they don’t hustle for every loose ball.
“I just like to take it on my own. I let the team make my opportunities, and I finish them,” said Peterson, a Class 3 Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association all-state pick a year ago.
Platte County played without sophomore striker Blake Cochran and senior defender Mason Hays, both out after picking up red cards in the previous game.
With Cochran not in the lineup, Peterson moved up top and out of his attacking midfield spot. The Pirates were shaky to start with the adjustments, and coach Ashlyn Brantley specifically noted the struggles in the midfield.
Unable to gain and maintain possession, Platte County allowed Central to control the early chances.
“(The midfield) is the heart and shape of our play,” Brantley said. “We have to have our midfield be that connection, and at first, we weren’t showing up.”
After going behind 1-0, Platte County slowly picked up momentum and dominated the majority of the final 60 minutes.
The Pirates finally leveled 2 minutes before halftime when Peterson hurried Central defender Jake Mikesch into a mistake near his own box. Peterson collected the loose ball, took a touch into the box and turned to fire a right-footed shot from 16 yards out that beat Central goalkeeper Noah Cameron sprawling to his right.
Peterson just missed his second goal on the first chance of the second half.
A long ball from senior midfielder Sam Stuteville sprang Peterson on a breakaway. He slowed and put two defenders on skates to open up a shot that just missed right in the 43rd minute.
Peterson beat Cameron again in the 46th minute, taking a cross from senior midfielder Jonathan Anguiano and burying a shot from the center of the box. The cross filtered through a passive defensive line, allowing Cameron (six saves) no chance.
Platte County goalkeeper Bailey Ride made his sixth save in the 61st minute to deny Central’s final good scoring opportunity. Manny Aparicio fired at him from a tight angle and close range with the shot going directly at Ride’s chest.
In the closing stretch, the Pirates worked to add a third goal.
In the 65th minute, Spencer Klopfer’s off-balance, left-footed shot struck the crossbar, and Peterson missed on two back-to-back chances with a hat trick at stake. First, his right-footed shot from in the box forced Cameron into a nifty save, and moments later in the 68th minute, Peterson whiffed twice on a bounding ball moving toward the Indians’ goal.
Eventually, defender Negassi Kotu cleared the ball off the line for Central to keep Platte County’s lead at 2-1. Peterson waited until the 80th minute to finish the hat trick, his second in four games this season.
“I was happy. I was trying to get that hat trick,” he said. “It took me a while, almost down to the last minute, but I got it.”
Ride made three saves in the first seven minutes and intervened a fourth time in that stretch to clear a potentially dangerous cross. Two of those efforts were diving saves resulting in a spilled rebound.
Gaige Wilson’s shot came back in the seventh minute, and Andres Machado missed an absolute sitter over the bar. One minute later, Machado buried a rebound for the opening goal.
“We have to close them down early, which we’ve talked about before,” Brantley said. “We can’t allow shots like that, and then, we can’t watch as it’s going. We’ve definitely got to pick up those marks as the play is continuing to give Bailey that support.”
Barstow 2, Platte County 1
The Pirates couldn’t defend their Barstow Invitational title despite a late comeback bid in the championship game Saturday, Aug. 27. They played with nine men for the final 10 minutes following a pair of red cards.
In the season-opening tournament, Platte County advanced to the title game to face the host but fell behind by two goals early in the second half. Peterson’s goal on an assist from Grant Allen with 20 minutes to play cut the deficit in half, but the Pirates couldn’t find the equalizer.
Peterson scored four goals in the tournament total — all coming in the semifinal and final.
Barstow took a 1-0 lead late in the first half and doubled the advantage with another mark in the 47th minute.
Platte County 4, Maryville 1
The Pirates pulled away late after having their lead threatened in a semifinal played Thursday, Aug. 25.
Cochran answered with a goal just seconds after Maryville’s lone tally. After Cochran put the Platte County lead back to two goals, Peterson completed his hat trick with 12½ minutes to play.
Peterson scored twice in the first half, and Cochran and senior defender Zach Rolofson recorded assists. Peterson assisted on Cochran’s goal.
Platte County 10, LaMonte 0
Two players recorded hat tricks for the Pirates in their opening round matchup Tuesday, Aug. 23.
Jake Havemeier scored four times and added an assist, while Cochran tallied three goals in the blowout victory. Ethan Dolan (two goals) and Klopfer (one goal) rounded out the scorers, while Chase Peterson, Tanner Ride and Cornelius Thyssen also had assists.
Bailey Ride and Turner Hess combined for the clean sheet in goal.