Harrisonville played aggressively against Raytown South in the Class 2 sectional game Nov. 12 at Harrisonville.
But for all the Wildcats’ shots on goal, only one made it in, and the Cardinals walked away with a 2-1 victory and the chance to move on to quarterfinals.
“What an abrupt end to the season,” Harrisonville head coach Dan Coleman said. “Regardless of the opponent, we really felt we had the team to make a much deeper run in the tournament. It goes to show you that every game is a unique animal and must be respected as such.”
Raytown South scored first at the 27 minute mark of the first period as senior midfielder Zach Munday headed the ball off a corner kick into the goal past Harrisonville junior goalkeeper Ben Spencer. Harrisonville kept fighting and had a good chance to knot the score at the nine minute mark as Raytown South senior defender Kole Turley was given a yellow card for tripping up Harrisonville senior Brandon Brewster.
Wildcats junior Douglas Croy took the free kick about 20 yards from the goal, but the ball bounced off the outer goal post. And just a few minutes later, Harrisonville sophomore Cole Harkrader saw a chance, squeezing through several Raytown South defneders, including leaping over one, to take a shot at the goal. The ball went just wide.
In the second period, Harrisonviile finally tied things up at the 32:38 minute mark as junior Zion Hartzler scored. But the Cardinals came back within 10 minutes as junior forward Jason Martinez kicked a cross to Munday for a goal to give Raytown South a 2-1 advantage.
The Wildcats tried to tie the score again in the 22nd minute of the period as another foul on Brewster was called. Croy took the free kick, which was blocked by Raytown South defenders. The ball came back to Croy who made a shot on the goal and was kicked away by the Cardinals.
And with 16 minutes left to play, Harrisonville junior Austen Cummins took a corner kick which was headed out by Raytown South. Cummins kicked the ball back toward the goal and Brewster’s head connected, but Cardinal senior goalkeeper Logan Rice made the save.
“Much credit to Ray-South,” Coleman said. “They scouted us well and executed an effective game plan. Us giving up that early corner kick goal really allowed them to play to their strength. The numbers they positioned behind the ball made it really difficult for us offensively. It was a hole we just couldn't dig out of. And Martinez was great. His work-rate was fantastic. He created the game winning goal out of what appeared to be nothing.”
A 2-1 halftime advantage turned to a 5-1 victory for Harrisonville in the Class 2, District 13 championship game against Warrensburg Nov. 7 at Harrisonville.
Warrensburg scored first in the game on a goal by junior Nate Miller in the 37th minute. The Wildcats responded in the 31st minute as junior Zion Hartzler kicked a cross to junior Shon Hartzler, who finished with a goal to knot the score.
Harrisonville took a lead with just over five minutes left in the first half as Zion Hartzler passed the ball to senior Brandon Brewster who took a shot. Warrensburg goalkeeper Kye Denker came out of the goal for the save, but the ball bounced off him, allowing Harrisonville sophomore Cole Harkrader to score on the unattended goal.
The second half belonged to the Wildcats as Brewster scored just 30 seconds into it to give Harrisonville a 3-1 advantage. In the 20th minute, senior Kolton Weibusch scored off a corner kick by junior Austen Cummins. The final score came with 13 minutes left in the game by Brewster.
“I'm exceptionally proud of my kids,” Coleman said. “They fought extremely hard; not only tonight, but have all season long. The work they put in and the commitment they showed was every bit a coach could ask for. They, themselves have much to be proud of, and although are very disappointed right now, have nothing to hang their heads about. I'd go to battle with those 22 young men any day.”
Harrisonville ends the season with a 20-6-1 record.