Chandler Peterson’s offense appeared set to carry Platte County into uncharted territory despite an incredibly slow start from the Pirates in last week’s Class 3 sectional with Kansas City East.
In the playoffs for the second time in three years, Platte County allowed the first three goals but closed to within one by halftime. A scoreless second half allowed the Bears to escape with a 3-2 win Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Pirate Stadium.
Platte County’s season ended at 17-9, leaving the Pirates still in search of the first playoff win in program history. They are 0-3 all time.
“It’s frustrating because it makes you think had we come out with that same mentality,” Platte County coach Ashlyn Brantley said, “that same focus and same physicality just putting in that effort, what it would have been like in that first half had we not just sat back a couple times which gave them the opportunities to make those three goals early on.”
East (14-4) appeared set for a runaway after going up 3-0 in the 28th minute.
Instead, Peterson continued his torrid season despite facing two to three defenders at all times. Platte County’s record-setting junior forward converted a penalty kick in the 33rd minute and then added his 61st goal of the season right before halftime.
The goals broke a tie for third place in state history for a single season with current Major League Soccer player and former Kickapoo star Jack Jewsbury. Peterson’s tally ended there, leaving him at 2.35 goals per game (fourth in state history).
Peterson’s second goal especially impressed.
Platte County senior midfielder Mason Hays sent a looping cross into the box toward his teammate, and Peterson slid through to hit the ball with a first touch, sending the ball past the Bears goalkeeper.
“We didn’t come out very strong, but at the end, after those two goals, we just started pushing it so it went pretty well,” Peterson said.
The momentum didn’t carry over.
Both teams produced chances in the second half but no more goals came. Platte County won the Class 3 District 16 title for the second time in three years, and the 2014 playoff trip ended with a blowout loss to Van Horn.
East’s win might have stung even more with the Pirates seemingly in control after the slow start.
“At halftime we pretty much had to just tell them this is either going to be the end of your season right here or you can continue if you come out and put forth the effort to win,” Brantley said. “And I think they put forth that effort; they didn’t quit till the last second so that’s all we could ask for.”
Platte County’s small but talented senior class included Hays, fellow midfielders Sam Stuteville, Noah Pasch, Trent Hynes and Abraham Mohamed, defenders Zach Rolofson and Chandler Brownsberger and goalkeeper Bailey Ride. The Pirates won at least 16 games in each of their final three seasons.