Lebanon falls to Jefferson City in district semifinals

Submitted photo
Pictured above are the 2019 Lebanon High School soccer seniors. From left, are Baylei Palmer, Leslee Weddle, Zephanie White, Ashley Mendoza, Skyler Hough, Katie Brandon, Abby O’Connor, Jenna Williams, and Maleah Toms.

By: 
ALEX BOYER ALEX@LACLEDERECORD.COM

The Lebanon High School girls’ soccer team season came to an end on Tuesday night in the Missouri Class 4 District 11 tournament at Jefferson City High School, falling to the Jefferson City ‘Jays, 3-0.

With the win, Jefferson City advanced to take on Sedalia Smith-Cotton in the district championship.

The ‘Jays got on the board early after Lebanon (7-14 overall) had a chance to get a clearance and mishit the ball for Jefferson City to get on the board first.

Later in the first half, they answered with their second goal of the game on a penalty kick to take a 2-0 lead heading into halftime before netting a goal from their center mid on a great shot from a distance with her left foot.

“We knew coming into the game that we would have to score our goals on the counter-attack,” Lebanon head coach Matt Jernigan said. “They do a real good job of moving the ball and possessing, so we were going to have to try to use our speed to counter on any mistakes they made. They did an excellent job of dropping their defense deep on those counters, so we weren't able to get in on them quick. 

“Defensively, we wanted to make them work for everything they got.  I think we did that.  They have a ton of speed on the outsides and good skill in the middle.  We knew that it would be hard for us to stop.  We did, for the most part, but gave up a couple of goals we knew we shouldn't have.”

Despite the loss, Jernigan mentioned that he was happy with the overall effort of the team, but wants Lebanon to improve on their skill heading into next season.

“That is on us as coaches to get them ready over the offseason with that foot skill,” he said. “We are already working on ways to improve that for next season. If we can put a little more skill with the work ethic we have, it will really help us compete better in these types of postseason games. They never stop working and will grind it out to the end, no matter the score.”

Lebanon will say goodbye to nine seniors that include Katie Brandon, Skyler Hough, Ashley Mendoza, Abby O’Connor, Baylei Palmer, Maleah Toms, Leslee Weddle, Jenna Williams, and Zephanie White.

“This is going to be a really hard group to lose,” said Jernigan. “They bring so much work ethic and fun to the team. Their leadership and skill are going to be hard to replace, but we have a group of underclassmen that we believe are ready to step up and take the next step. Last night left a sour taste in their mouths, and they are ready to start working now. We already have girls ready to start the offseason.”

For the complete article, see the Weekend print edition of The County Record, or view http://digital.laclederecord.com/ online.

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