Kickapoo shuts out Lebanon to end season

LDR photo/Alex Boyer
Lebanon senior Britny Baker looks to dribble past a defender during the semifinal game in the Missouri Class 4 District 10 tournament on Tuesday at Kickapoo High School. Kickapoo won the contest, 5-0.

By: 
ALEX BOYER ALEX@LEBANONDAILYRECORD.COM

SPRINGFIELD — The Kickapoo Chiefs came into the Missouri Class 4 District 10 girls' soccer tournament viewed as one of the more highly talented teams in the area, and they showed why on Tuesday night, defeating the Lebanon Yellowjackets girls’ soccer team, 5-0.

Earlier in the season, the Chiefs (14-8-1) defeated Lebanon (12-10-1) at ‘Jacket Stadium, 4-0 and despite not having one of their top goal scorers on Tuesday night they were still able to control most of the game.

“We knew coming into the game they were going to try and bang it around a little bit more with them being out their top goal scorer,” Lebanon head coach Matt Jernigan said. “We wanted to put pressure on them and keep them from getting those through balls because once they get it, they are off and going.”

The ‘Jackets did an excellent job of controlling the game early on behind 11 first-half saves from senior goalkeeper Abbey Schmidt, but with 1:35 left in the half, Schmidt deflected a shot that would be followed up by Kickapoo forward Morgan Gunther to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.

“We did a good job in the first half, but I thought tired legs in the second half was the difference, especially when you are defending as much as we did early on it will wear you out,” Jernigan said. “I told the girls at halftime that being down 1-0 was our dream setup because we were talking that if we were going to win that game, it would probably be 2-1 because you aren’t going to keep them out of the net.

“I think we had girls confident at halftime that we were going to win, but we just got winded in the second.”

Kickapoo got the second goal from Gunther just 30 seconds into the second half, but the ‘Jackets’ defense would tighten up and not allow another goal for 21 minutes until Serena Boyce was able to find the back of the net to extend their lead to 3-0.

With seven minutes left, Kickapoo senior Teddy Reynold would cap the scoring with her first goal of the game after a tipped ball rolled into the net.

Although it didn’t end the way they wanted it to, Jernigan said this group still has a lot to be proud of.

“With us finishing the year at 12-10-1 we had the opportunity with the all the injuries we endured this season to letdown, but I don’t think our girls did,” he said. “We battled and had some younger girls step up the entire season.

“Our seniors (Britny Baker, Alyssa Long, Marissa King, Hannah Hilton, Haleigh Dearborn, Abbey Schmidt) were great this year and are leaders that will definitely be missed going forward.”

Heading into the offseason, Jernigan says he will try and stress playing club ball to his team for extra practice.

“We are going to have open fields this summer and try to get them to keep touching a ball,” he said. “Trying to get together with some club teams and playing. We tell the girls that however many club players you have will determine how many wins we have.”

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The Laclede County Record

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