Another spring brings another chance Platte County to return to the district championship game.
The Pirates have made the final game of districts every year since 2008 and won in 2008, 2010 and 2016 in Class 1, 2 and 3.
Last year, Platte County lost in overtime to Kearney, a reversal of an overtime win against Smithville in 2016.
Platte County should be considered a favorite to get back there with the combination of nine returning all-conference performers and coming off an 18-6-1 mark — 8-2 in Suburban Conference Blue Division.
The Pirates returnees tallied a total of 68 goals last year, led by senior forward Destinee Smith, who had 27 goals, while adding 11 assists, on her way to earning first-team all-conference and all-district honors. She had 24 goals as a sophomore.
A bulk of the returnees are midfielders with five, headlined by senior Bailey Bolgona, who has signed to play at Lindenwood. Bologna earned all-conference honors as freshman and after returning from a knee injury that kept her from playing in 2016, she earned first-team all-conference and all-district honors with 12 goals and three assists last year.
Senior Hanna Hall also had 12 goals last year, while adding 15 assists and earned both all-conference and all-districts honors.
Coryn Stephenson, a sophomore, earned second-team all-conference and all-district behind a three-goal, three-assist showing in her debut season. Sophomore Alexis Guillory and junior Hannah Valentine earned honorable mention all-conference honors last year, scoring eight and five goals, respectively.
Returning on the backline is senior Brittany Alvarado and junior Madeline Donnelli, both players were second-team all-conference, while Donnelli was a first-team all-district pick.
Sophomore Jaylee Wiedmer, a first-team all-conference and all-district pick, is back as goalkeeper.
“The girls have been working hard since day one,” said coach Ashlyn Brantley, who is assisted by DJ Lugo. “We are excited to get the season kicked off and put what we have been working on in practice into actual competition play.”
The Pirates lost a pair of all-conference and all-district defenders in Calle Boe and Amanda Sullivan, while midfielder Kianna Castro, who had 18 goals and earned first-team all-conference and all-district honors also gradated.
Newcomers to the varsity team that could make an impact for Platte County include Bryn McGehe, Gabby Lopez and Brianna Alvarado. The team also returns Park signee Kaylyn Hathaway.
“A goal of ours is to have each player do their individual job in order to function as one unit,” Brantley said. “We like to focus on possession and then finding outlets to get us in behind.”