Harrisonville senior Douglas Croy found the top right corner of the net with about nine minutes remaining of Saturday’s Smith-Cotton Soccer Tournament title game and the Wildcats held on for the 1-0 victory against the S-C Tigers.
“They transition one time and we kind of get caught,” said Smith-Cotton head coach Ethan Weller. “You’ve go to give it to them. The kids made them beat us. It’s not like we gave the game away.”
The Battle Spartans beat Carl Junction 3-2 Saturday to take third place in the tournament. The Marshall Owls won 3-2 over Willard for fifth place.
The Wildcats got several shots off against senior goalkeeper Landon Dove in the first 15 minutes of the game, but Harrisonville’s possession numbers on the Smith-Cotton side of the field became spread out the rest of the game.
The Tigers were able to control the ball more as the game went on, but the Wildcats limited shots on goal.
“We were down there and we were in front of their goal, but I wouldn’t say there were a lot of opportunities where we were putting shots on frame and that we made the keeper make tough saves,” Weller said. “He made some saves, but it wasn’t really off shots. It was crosses and things like that.”
Junior Luke Guier put the ball in front of the goal in the 25th minute, but the Tigers failed to score.
Smith-Cotton had a few more opportunities in the first half, but they were either deflected by a defender or off target.
In the 54th minute, Harrisonville’s senior goalkeeper Ben Spencer took away junior Jesus Carlos’ pass to sophomore Jordan Lawson in front of the goal. Lawson tried a similar pass to Guier in the 63rd minute, but Spencer dove in front of Guier and snatched the ball.
The Tigers couldn’t get much going after the Wildcats scored their goal. Senior Nic Crank launched the ball from midfield in the final seconds, but no Smith-Cotton players got possession or a shot off.
The loss gave the Tigers a runner-up finish in the tournament and a 2-1 start to the season.
“Overall I think we played pretty well,” Dove said. “We played as a unit. A lot of good things, but still stuff we’ve got to work on.”
Dove said this loss will “absolutely” give the Tigers motivation because Smith-Cotton and Harrisonville could face each other again this season if both with their district.
The Tigers travel to Moberly on Monday to face the Spartans.