Platte County’s offense showed up in just enough time to salvage a win in the season-opening home Invitational.
Destinee Smith, a junior forward, scored once on either side of halftime Tuesday, March 21 in the seventh-place game of the Platte County Invitational, lifting the Pirates to a 2-1 win over St. Pius X. The first goal of the season came after nearly 200 minutes of play after shutout losses in the first round and the consolation semifinals.
A beefed-up field allowed for eight teams to play a straight bracket, starting with openers on Saturday, March 18.
In a rematch of a Class 3 sectional from a year ago, Grain Valley won 2-0 over Platte County in an intriguing first round matchup. A pair of mistakes led to two first half goals for the Eagles, who also won last year’s meeting before losing in the state quarterfinal round.
Platte County entered with eight starters back, and senior defender Amanda Sullivan and junior defender Brittany Alvarado and junior midfielder Bailey Bologna set to rejoin the lineup after missing all of 2016 due to injury.
“I’m glad to get one under our belt and finally get it going,” Platte County coach Ashylyn Brantley said after the loss to Grain Valley. “Definitely feel a lot better than I did at the beginning of last season just because there were so many injuries last year, but our numbers are good. We have a lot of returning players so I think we’re a strong team, just have to work on a few little things.”
With no chance to practice in between, Platte County lost 1-0 to Harrisonville in a consolation game Monday, March 20. The Wildcats scored the lone goal just after halftime after Platte County senior defender Calle Boe committed a foul in the box, leading to a penalty kick.
Platte County continued to use a two goalkeeper rotation, but this year’s duo has so far included freshman Jaylee Wiedmer in the first half and junior Faith Burtchell in the second half. That setup continued for all three games.
The offense finally provided the besieged defense with support vs. St. Pius X, a Class 2 state semifinalist a year ago.
Smith, Platte County’s leading scorer a year ago, scored the opening goal in the 39th minute to give the Pirates a 1-0 halftime lead. She added her second early in the second half, putting in a ball Alexis Guillory deflected into the box off of a cross from junior Hanna Hall.
St. Pius X scored its lone goal just before the final whistle, denying the Pirates’ of their first cleansheet in three tries.