After a difficult loss to Lee’s Summit May 8, Raymore-Peculiar girls soccer coach Jason Waterman was looking forward to the postseason.
And itching for a rematch.
In a match with Suburban Conference and district seeding implications, Ray-Pec wound up falling to the Tigers 3-1 on their home field. Lee’s Summit has the No. 1 seed in next week’s Class 3 District 13 tournament, and the Tigers and Panthers could meet again in the finals if Ray-Pec gets past Lee’s Summit West May 19 in the semifinal.
And Ray-Pec is the tournament host.
“If we had one today we would have had a legimate chance at that No. 1 seed and been in contention for the conference chanmpionship,” Waterman said. “At least we’ll get to see them again (next week) because we plan on beating Lee’s Summit West and playing Lee’s Summit in the championship.”
Lee’s Summit secured the top seed with another all-around effort highlighted by well-crafted goals and solid defense. Jacque Sampson scored two goals, and goalkeeper Alexis Gochnauer was a rebound away from a shutout.
“The girls really stepped up,” Lee’s Summit coach Dave Wiebenga said. “One of our biggest problems of the season last year is that we lost a lot of games 1-0, 2-1, but we’re winning these games now.”
Playing into a stiff South wind in the first half, Lee’s Summit still moved the ball downfield and set up Sampson for a score less than two minutes into the game and a quick 1-0 lead. That quick goal, Waterman said, did rattle his team a little early.
“I’m proud of the girls for coming back, because that’s not how you ever want to start a game,” Waterman said. “They’r a good team so you’ve got to expect everything from them.”
Ray-Pec did strike back when Baylie Edwards rebounded a shot that came straight down off the crossbar with 4 minutes left before the half.
“Our player hit it, and everyone kind of stopped, so I figured it was going in,” Edwards said. “ But (the official) didn’t call it, so I ran up and finished it.”
Ray-Pec would have few chances after that. While Gochnauer and the defense kept Ray-Pec away from the net, the Tigers tacked on two more goals in the second half. Sampson scored her second on a set piece off a direct kick with 18:41 to play, and Maddie Huser knocked in a shot by Morgan Maxwell that ricocheted off the post with 13:13 to go.
“When we tied it up in the first half, it was anybody’s game,” Waterman said. “We gave up that second goal, and from there they had a little more confidence, and they had the wind.”
Now Ray-Pec has the postseason, and a possible rematch, to look forward to.