Injuries have provided opportunities on Platte County’s roster and some uneven results in the Pirates’ first tournament of the season.
Kaylyn Hathaway showed the good and bad of added exposure during a 3-1 loss to Liberty North in the championship game of the Platte County Invitational on Thursday, March 24 at Pirate Stadium. Starting ahead of injured sophomore Faith Burtchell, Platte County’s sophomore goalkeeper made a series of important saves early in the second half to keep the score level, but a pair of miscues late allowed the Eagles to pull away for the win.
Platte County sat at 1-2 entering a Tuesday, March 29 matchup at St. Joseph Central. The result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.
“We definitely need some more work in (the goalkeeping) area,” Platte County coach Ashlyn Brantley said. “I think (Hathaway) does a good job, but we need to keep working. It’s an ongoing competition (with Burtchell), but between the two of them, they are very similar in the way they play.
“Again, both of them do a good job, but at the same time, both of them can use some progress, as well.”
Platte County allowed a goal in each of its three tournament games and trailed in the final two, including a 3-2 loss to Staley in a pool play matchup. However, the Falcons went on to lose to St. Pius X in their pool finale, meaning Platte County’s two second half goals helped them advance to the title game.
Hathaway started all three games after backing up Burtchell for the majority of the 2015 season.
Against Liberty North, Hathaway faced a barrage in the second half after Platte County seemingly went into halftime with the momentum and the score tied 1-1. The Eagles attempted three shots in the first 5 minutes out of the break — one going off the post, one sailing over the goal and one Hathaway stopped.
Hathaway ended up with six of her eight saves in the second half before conceding a pair late.
Liberty North went up 2-1 in the 71st minute when Sidney Ewing redirected a corner kick into the goal. She added a second two minutes later on a rebound after Hathaway spilled a save on a lengthy free kick shot attempt.
“Good teams are going to capitalize when we have those slumps in games,” Brantley said.
Liberty North took a 1-0 lead after 8 minutes when Katie Pohl’s deflected shot beat Hathaway near post.
From there, Platte County found its attack. Brooke Zenner, the Pirates’ top attacking midfielder, saw a free kick from 20 yards out on the left wing tipped over the bar in the 18th minute. She also had a shot from inside the box deflected off of an indirect free kick resulting from the Eagles goalkeeper handling an intentional back pass.
Destinee Smith, a sophomore forward, tapped the ball, allowing Zenner to fire a shot that went directly into the advancing wall.
Platte County’s goal came in the 24th minute off of another mistake from the goalkeeper, who misplayed a long shot that she had to force out for a corner kick. Zenner’s pass went to the far post, and Katana Audas’ touch sending the ball back toward the middle ended up deflected by a Liberty North defender into her own goal.
The Pirates continued to push for a second goal in the remainder of the first half before slumping again out of halftime
“We just need to be consistent in our play,” Brantley said. “I don’t know right now if it’s a physical thing or a mental thing when we have those slumps. I told them, ‘We’ll take care of the physical side, but if it’s the mental side, we’ve got to start working on that, as well.’”
Platte County’s chances on offense were limited in the second half with Smith’s hard shot from the right in the 64th minute the lone clear opportunity. Her hit went directly at the goalkeeper, and the Eagles took the lead 7 minutes later.