After 49 minutes of a game lacking much offense, Lee’s Summit netted two goals in a minute’s span on its way to a 3-0 win over Raymore-Peculiar on April 15 at Hertzog Stadium.
Neither team created many chances to score, and the few chances taken didn’t trouble either goalkeeper in the opening half and the first nine minutes of the second.
That all changed in the 50th minute.
Jacque Sampson converted on a penalty kick to put the Tigers up 1-0 after Abigail Brown took down Payton Seymour on the end line.
How a team reacts to the first goal of the game shows a lot about that team.
“I think we pretty much gave up after we let the first one in,” said Ray-Pec coach Jason Watermann. “Our mentality in the first 10-15 minutes, I think, was a killer instinct mentality. We put pressure on them.
“Once they see that something doesn’t work, then we start thinking twice about what we need to do, and when you think twice, you start letting things go sour.”
About a minute later, Sampson hit Courtney Killian in stride, and Killian hit a shot from the right corner of the penalty box into the upper corner of the far post, leaving Panther keeper Emily Thuss with no chance.
“From that angle with the spin she put on it to have that tuck right in the corner was timely,” Tigers’ coach Dave Wiebenga said. “(Being) 1-0 (behind means) you’re one shot from being right back in it, but 2-0, now you’ve got to put some work into it.”
Kennedy Strain sealed the victory for the Tigers, putting away a loose ball in the box in a scrum with seven minutes left.
A personnel switch from Lee’s Summit at half led to a tactical change that created havoc on the Panther defense. The Tigers started finding room in behind Ray-Pec’s defense on diagonal passes, like the one that led to Killian’s goal.
“No communication,” Watermann said. “We were worried about them scoring instead of us being the aggressor like in first half. Like I said, in the first 10-15 minutes, I thought we were the aggressor. We had the confidence.
“Then once (Lee’s Summit) started connecting passes, in any soccer game when you start connecting passes, you start keeping possession, the other team that doesn’t have the possession is going to start losing confidence, and that’s what we started doing.”
Ray-Pec found some success early in the game going out wide and getting the ball toward the corner flag on the right side, but the Tiger defense dealt with the crosses without problem.
With one of the Panthers’ best opportunities in the first half, Brown sent a free kick from about 30 yards out well over the crossbar just before halftime.
The Tigers outshot the Panthers 12-5 on the night.
Thuss made a diving save to her right in the first half on a shot from Annie Shackleford, one of Lee’s Summit’s better chances in the first half.
The Panthers dropped to 4-4 on the season and 1-3 in conference play.