Playing without a pair of starters, Platte County went into halftime against Grandview needing to find a spark.
The Pirates ended up scoring seven times in a span of about 25 minutes to invoke the mercy rule in a 10-0 victory at Pirate Stadium. Brooke Zenner, oscillating between attacking midfielder and striker, scored the final five goals and ended up with six total.
Platte County played without starting midfielder Hanna Hall and striker Destinee Smith, both injured two nights earlier. The Pirates’ continued injury troubles couldn’t stop them from winning four straight to close the regular season, finishing with an 8-2 Suburban Conference Blue Division title.
The expected blowout against Grandview took a while to materialize.
Platte County (14-6) didn’t score until the 26th minute when midfielder Katana Audas headed in a corner kick from Zenner at the back post. That started a flurry of three goals in three minutes but not until after Grandview goalkeeper Alexa Hawkins previously used her body to deflect a Kianna Castro rocket shot from 9 yards out and stoned a Zenner shot on back-to-back possessions.
The lead doubled in the 28th minute when a Grandview defender chested a Zenner cross past Hawkins for an own goal, and Zenner used a turnover to rifle in a left-footed shot from 17 yards out in the 30th minute.
The lead remained at 3-0 going into halftime after Pirates defender Haley Valentine nearly netted a fourth in the 39th minute, but her header went over the bar before pinging back off the football crossbar.
Castro tallied her lone goal on a penalty kick off of a Grandview handball in the box. Her right-footed blast left no doubt in the 48th minute, putting Platte County up 4-0. Audas then scored her second in the 51st minute, knocking in a rebound at the near post of her own blocked shot.
Zenner started her run of five straight goals in the 54th minute.
The injuries will leave a question mark entering the postseason, but Platte County earned the top seed in the Class 3 District 16 tournament, which opens play Tuesday, May 17. The Pirates start with Benton and will likely face another championship game against Smithville.
Platte County 3, Belton 0
The Pirates again played with only two substitutes in a shutout Monday, May 9 at Pirate Stadium.
Zenner tallied a hat trick with the highlight coming right before halftime. A long goal kick went to Audas, who headed the ball up to Smith. Another header put the ball at Zenner’s feet, and she scored from 10 yards out with 1 second left in the first half.
Zenner added two more in the second half, the first on a through ball from Audas. Zenner finished with a shot into the side netting. Audas assisted on the third as well in the 63rd minute.
Platte County finished Blue Division play at 8-2, second place behind Kearney.
Platte County 6, Raytown South 0
The Pirates earned a costly win Tuesday, May 3 in Raytown, Mo.
After jumping to a 5-0 halftime lead, Platte County scored just once more and then lost Smith and Hall to knee injuries in the second half. Audas, Zenner and Smith scored two goals apiece, but the Pirates also hit the frame of the goal multiple times to keep the score down.
Audas scored on a pass from Smith with 15 minutes to go in the second half to cap the scoring. Smith assisted Zenner on her second goal, and Audas set up both of Smith’s goals.