Panthers top Pirates in soccer thriller

Special to the Democrat-MissourianApril 11, 2014 

As far as rivalry games go, this was a good one.

The Belton Pirates and Raymore-Peculiar Panthers took their soccer match into overtime before the Panthers’ Paxton Weatherly scored the winning goal 7minutes and 21 seconds into sudden death, lifting Raymore-Peculiar to a 2 -1 victory at Belton on April 7.

The Pirates jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the game on a Bridget Byard score.

“Our goal was a set play. We had a free kick on the right side - Dani Austin took it, fed it to Bridget, then Bridget sent it to the back of the net,” said Belton head coach Carlos McField.

With nine minutes left in the first half, the Panthers responded when Bailey Edwards broke though the middle of a stingy Pirate defense and tied the score at 1-1.

Ray-Pec dominated the contest during the next 32 minutes of regulation. The Panthers kept Belton on its defensive side of the field, but they could not score the winning goal in regulation.

“Our defense starts with our goalkeeper, Shaylee Oldham,” said McField. “She had an outstanding game.”

Oldham and the rest of the Pirate defense seemed to exasperate the Panthers.

“I think the girls were frustrated,” said Panthers assistant coach Mike Williams. “Mental toughness kicked in, and they continued to push through. They kept at it and I think that’s why they got the win.”

In overtime Ray-Pec continued its offensive domination. The Pirate defense packed the middle of the field and denied the Panthers any opportunities to score.

With 2:39 left in overtime, Ray-Pec found a slight crack in Belton’s rock solid defense.

“They (the Pirate defenders) were trying to cut off all our passes. I was able to get a really good feed and turn it into a score,” Weatherly said.

So for now, keep the Carry Hatchet rivalry trophy on the east side of I-49.

“This is a big win for us in districts and district seeding,” Williams said. “This is our second district win. We already beat Lee’s Summit West earlier this season, so this puts us in great shape when it comes to seeding.”

Despite the defeat, McField seemed optimistic about the Pirates’ chances for the rest of the season.

“If we play like we did today, we can win some conference games and compete for a championship,” McField said.

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