Jillian Vansell helped the Smith-Cotton Lady Tigers get off to a fast start.
Brianna Pollitt helped the Lady Tigers finish strong Saturday, and they beat Harrisonville 6-0 in the third-place game of the Smith-Cotton Lady Tiger Girls Soccer Tournament at Susie Ditzfeld Field.
Vansell scored twice in the first five minutes. She broke away and beat the Harrisonville goalkeeper one-on-one at 2:53 and 4:08.
“I always look to make a diagonal run because our midfielders are really good of just sending it right through there,” Vansell said. “I just get a touch on the ball and place it.”
After a 1 1/2-hour lightning delay, the Lady Tigers continued their strong play and took a 3-0 lead when Jessica Coble finished a cross from Vansell at 17:56.
In the second half, Pollitt outraced the defense to the goal to score at 41:16. At 44:03, she beat the goalkeeper to the latter’s right for a 5-0 lead.
Alexia Goodson made a penalty kick at 45:45, sending her shot to the right of the goalkeeper.
The victory was important to the Lady Tigers after they blew a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 to Raymore-Peculiar in the semifinals Saturday morning.
“The girls were obviously disappointed,” S-C coach Adam Murray said. “We wanted a shot to play for first place but Ray-Pec’s a good team. When … they equalized at 2-2 and had the momentum, we just never recovered.”
Vansell said, “I think we thought we had the game because it was 2-0. We kind of let down and they just wanted it more than we did.”
The Lady Tigers (9-4) improved their passing game against Harrisonville.
“We played the feet more instead of just trying to kick it,” Vansell said. “We each had a mark and we won balls in the air. I think we just strung passes together better.”
Murray appreciated his team’s intensity.
“We were winning balls (in the air),” Murray said. “I thought Annie Guier did a great job of winning balls out of the air. Sometimes they don’t get the recognition in the back, but she did a good job. … We’re possessing the ball a little better. Our buildup was better. The girls put in a lot of effort in practice on that. It just wasn’t working in the Ray-Pec game.”
The Lady Tigers outshot Harrisonville 25-16. Harrisonville had only one shot on goal in the first half, but goalkeeper Lydia Sharp had to make seven saves in the second half.
“I thought defensively we played really well,” Murray said. “Lydia Sharp played very well in the goal. I think our backs did a good job.”
Raymore-Peculiar 3, Smith-Cotton 2
The Raymore-Peculiar Panthers scored three second-half goals to beat Smith-Cotton 3-2 in the semifinals.
The Panthers controlled possession for most of the game, outshooting S-C 33-9, including 12-4 on shots on goal.
Baylie Edwards scored all three of Ray-Pec’s goals. She scored inside the goalkeeper box at 53:06, slicing the Lady Tigers’ lead to 2-1. She scored the game-tying goal with another shot inside the box at 66:01.
Less than two minutes later, she scored the go-ahead goal on a fast-break opportunity. Goalkeeper Sharp and Edwards raced to the ball just inside the box. Edwards got there first and rolled a shot into the goal at 67:45.
“(Edwards) is a good player. The girls knew,” Murray said. “You have to give her some credit; she was able to get in and create. We did a very good job on her for most of the game. She was able to get in and cause some problems, and capitalize with those goals.”
The Lady Tigers took the early lead after Vansell got behind the Ray-Pec defense and, on her second try, scored at the two-minute mark. Goodson scored on a penalty kick at 15:03 for a 2-0 lead.
Vansell had another good opportunity to score later in the half, but her shot was turned away in the box.
Sharp had to make six saves in the first half, including a stop of a point-blank shot at 34:26.
The Panthers continued to dominate in the second half, forcing Sharp to make five saves. At 54:16, she stopped a hard-hit kick that would have tied the score.
Ray-Pec appeared to score an insurance goal in the 73rd minute. Sharp attempted to get to the ball before the Panthers, but she slipped. With an empty net in from of them, they took a shot, but Sarah Garcia make a kick save.
The Lady Tigers will play a makeup game Monday against Father Tolton. The varsity game will begin at 5 p.m. in Columbia. No junior varsity game will be played.