RIVERSIDE, Mo. — The action escalated quickly with momentum shifting even quicker between Platte County and Park Hill South in their Panther Classic opener Monday, Oct. 3.
Park Hill South scored four times in a span of 13 minutes early in the first half, responding to an early deficit with creative, attacking play on the way to a 7-2 victory at Park Hill District Soccer Complex. Platte County’s Chandler Peterson, who scored both goals at either end of the game for the Pirates, used a swift counterattack to stun the tournament hosts in the opening minutes.
After nearly going down 2-0, Park Hill South — ranked No. 9 in the most recent Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association Class 4 poll — swiftly erased any thoughts of an upset in their pool play opener.
“I think we really did come out strong,” said Park Hill South senior midfielder Dan Geary, who ended up with a hat trick. “It was just an unfortunate first goal. We just turned it around and didn’t let it get us down, really.”
Peterson scored his goal after a Park Hill South turnover in the second minute. Platte County senior midfielder Mason Hays sent a hard pass toward the speedy forward that a Park Hill South defender headed into Peterson’s path.
After collecting in the open field, Peterson neatly tucked a shot past Panthers goalkeeper Noah Brizendine, who made two saves.
Platte County nearly struck again four minutes later when Peterson centered a pass to Hays with the Park Hill South defense managing a late clearance for a corner kick. The salvo marked the final one for the Pirates for an extended period.
Ryan DiBernardo collected a loose ball and scored Park Hill South’s opener in the seventh minute in the run of play following the corner kick. Two minutes later, the official whistled Platte County defender Cole Wedekind for handling a cross in the box.
Geary stepped up and quickly powered the penalty kick in for a 2-1 lead.
“We gave up an early goal, and I think that woke them up,” Park Hill South coach Chris Farmer said.
Park Hill South’s relentless attack showed off some finesse for the third goal.
Noah Anderson, a left back, sprang forward on the attack and combined with senior Adam Frazier on a give-and-go. Frazier finished the move with a lofted pass into the 18-yard box, which Anderson ran onto in a dizzying run that didn’t stop before finishing neatly past Platte County goalkeeper Bailey Ride in the 13th minute.
“It’s really nice to watch, but I think after I see something like that, I might get mesmerized at first, but then it makes me want to do that movement and maybe I’ll open up someone else,” said Geary, who scored his second in the 21st minute to increase the Panthers’ lead to 4-1. “I think it’s more contagious than anything.”
Park Hill South’s Tyler Pisoni scored twice in the 45th and 49th minute on assists from Anderson and DiBernardo. The second came on a squared ground cross from DiBernardo in the box, and Pisoni hit two shots, hammering home the rebound for his second.
In the 51st minute, Geary sent a bouncing shot from 24 yards out on a free kick past Ride at the near post for the Panthers’ final goal and a 7-1 lead.
“I kind of underhit it a little bit, but I got it in the side,” said Geary, who missed a free kick shot over the bar from almost the exact same spot minutes earlier. “It wasn’t intentional, but I was definitely trying to hit it lower.”
Park Hill South started rotating in reserves after going up six goals and didn’t score again despite senior Spencer Denney hitting the post in the closing minutes.
Platte County took one back in the 68th minute when Peterson used a piece of individual skill to beat a pair of defenders before firing a right-footed shot past sophomore reserve goalkeeper Mark Allred. The junior midfielder already has 37 goals on the season and stands just one away from tying the Pirates single-season record of 38 with at least eight games remaining this season.
“We knew going in what he was capable of,” said Farmer, who after the goal put speedy senior winger Nylo Clarke back into the game after Peterson’s second goal specifically to mark Platte County’s top offensive threat. “I had never seen him play, but I’m a believer. I’m impressed. I’m not sure I’ve seen a high school player this year that’s that dynamic on the ball.
“You saw. He touches the ball three or four times and scores twice? Unbelievable.”
Ride made six saves for Platte County before exiting after the seventh goal. He dove low to his left to tip away Daniel Gunderson’s right-footed curler in the 38th minute to keep the Pirates’ deficit at 4-1 going into halftime then stoned DiBernardo’s point-blank header in the opening minute of the second half before tipping Clarke’s shot in the 45th minute off the post and beating away the rebound for a corner kick.
Turner Hess came in and made two saves for Platte County, which was scheduled to continue pool play Tuesday, Oct. 4 against Raymore-Peculiar.
Park Hill South took an off day Tuesday and plays Raymore-Peculiar on Wednesday. The tournament was divided into two three-team pools with the winner, runner-up and third-place teams from each group pairing up for placement matches Thursday, Oct. 6.
Teams receive three points for a win, one for a tie and zero for a draw.
Park Hill 0, North Kansas City 0
The Trojans settled for a scoreless draw with a late header from of a corner kick pinging of the post as time expired in their pool play opener Monday, Oct. 3.
Park Hill goalkeeper Stefan Derra made a pair of quality saves late to keep the shutout intact.
Both teams earned one point from the draw with the Trojans scheduled to finish pool play Tuesday, Oct. 4 against Smithville, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.
Park Hill South 5, Raytown 0
The Panthers pulled away with four goals in the second half of a Suburban Conference Red Division matchup Thursday, Sept. 29 in Raytown, Mo.
Anderson put Park Hill South up 1-0 just two minutes before halftime on an assist from Clarke. The Panthers’ final four goals came in a span of 15 minutes between the 47th and 62nd minute. DiBernardo scored the first two and then assisted on Jacob Wicks’ marker in the 55th.
Pisoni converted the final goal in the 62nd on a pass from Frazier. Clarke finished with two assists and Turner Hall had another.
Raytown didn’t have any shots on target.
Park Hill South 2, Liberty 1
The Panthers built a two-goal lead before halftime and held on for a key Red Division win Tuesday, Sept. 27 in Liberty, Mo.
DiBernardo broke the shutout in the 34th minute, and Zach Nay made Park Hill South’s lead 2-0 in the 39th minute. Brizendine maintained a shutout until the 75th minute when Liberty cut the deficit in half, and the goalkeeper finished with four saves.
Platte County 10, Winnetonka 0
The Pirates invoked the mercy rule in the 68th minute Tuesday, Sept. 27 in Kansas City, Mo.
Peterson scored six times in the Suburban Conference Blue Division victory, which improved Platte County to 4-1 in league play with the lone loss so far to Belton. Blake Cochran, Spencer Klopfer, Noah Pasch and Jonathan Anguiano added one goal apiece.
Platte County next plays in the Blue Division on Tuesday, Oct. 11 against Raytown South before the scheduled completion of a postponed matchup with Kearney on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
Platte County 6, Benton 0
Peterson scored three more times in a nonconference victory Wednesday, Sept. 28 at Pirate Stadium for a second straight hat trick. Cochran, Hays and Tanner Ride rounded out the goalscorers in a matchup of potential first round Class 3 District 16 opponents.
Raymore-Peculiar 3, Park Hill 1
The Trojans fell behind early, recovered and then faced a two-goal deficit at halftime Wednesday, Sept. 28 at Park Hill District Soccer Complex in Riverside, Mo.
Abenezer Abraham scored a tying goal for Park Hill in the 13th minute, taking advantage of a turnover on a bad back pass. Raymore-Peculiar scored twice more before halftime and ended up with a season sweep of the Suburban Conference Gold Division matches between the two teams after a scoreless second half.
Park Hill dropped to 1-8 in league play with the next conference game scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 12 vs. Lee’s Summit.