ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The fourth straight district title showdown between Park Hill and Staley turned out like the first three — with the Trojans winning.
The latest battle for district supremacy came on Thursday, May 17, at Bode Middle School and Park Hill won 4-1, claiming the Class 4 District 16 title.
Ali Walls accounted for all four goals for the Trojans, scoring three goals and then adding the assist on the other. The win vaulted the Trojans back to the Class 4 playoffs, making them a perfect 4-0 since MSHSAA moved from three classes to four classes.
Last year, Park Hill won 1-0 in double overtime against Staley, while winning 4-0 in 2016 and 3-0 in 2015 against the Falcons.
“It speaks to our seniors and the tradition of the program and the girls that have been here,” Park Hill coach Brandt Bell said of the four-peat. “We have alumni here supporting us. I think it speaks for the expectations they have set for themselves.”
Walls scored the first goal only 2 minutes into the contest, while adding goals in the 65th and 72nd minute to complete her hat trick.
“This one is special,” said Walls, a Drake signee. “I feel like we want it more than ever. I know you can say that every year, but I’m tired of being shutdown but it is one step closer to making it happen.”
Walls provided the assist on Mackenzie Sackuvich in the 39th minute in the first half, sending the cross to her left.
Sackuvich’s goal with 15 seconds left on the scoreboard boosted the Park Hill (17-3) lead to 2-0.
That became key when Staley scored in the 50th minute on Hannah Faubion’s goal.
“It wasn’t an easy finish,” Walls said of Sackuvich’s goal. “She did a great job. That was really good to go into half. Being up 2-0 is better than 1-0.”
The second half featured a pair of yellow cards and with two minutes left, the Falcons drew the game’s only red card on a play that led to Dragana Andonvoski laying on the grass turf screaming in pain.
The Trojans’ No. 2 scoring option, behind Walls, left the field on crutches. Bell noted following the game her status for the playoff game was unknown.
“It is very chippy,” Bell said. “When you always see each other at this stage, year in and year out, it is always picked up a notch.”
Class 4 District 15
Liberty North 4, Park Hill South 1
The Eagles built a 3-0 lead to take control of this semifinal game on Tuesday, May 15, at Liberty North High School.
Abby Bray had a hat trick for Liberty North, two coming in the first half. She had markers in the 17th and 32nd minute to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead at the break.
Maya Jones scored in the 61st minute for Liberty North to expand the lead.
The lone goal for Park Hill South came from Adah Anderson in the 62nd minute.
Bray’s final tally came in the 71st minute.
The Panthers (9-11) were held without a shot in the first half, but had five in the second half, while limiting Liberty North to two — which were both goals.
“I’m extremely proud of my girls and how they’ve battled all season,” Park Hill South coach Jared Byrne said. “It’s always tough when it comes to an end but I couldn’t have asked for a better crew to work with.”