Blue Springs South scored six times in the second half to beat Smith-Cotton 7-0 in a Class 3, District 9 girls soccer semifinal Monday at Susie Ditzfeld Field.
In the first half, the Jaguars had more chances and controlled possession for much of the half, but S-C defense held them off, and even had a few chances of its own though.
“For the entire first half, I was pretty proud of our efforts all over the field,” said Smith-Cotton coach Shawn Cairer. “They’re definitely a strong squad and they’re strong all over but at least we matched their effort. We got in and played hard, played physical, did what we could to stay behind the ball.”
Blue Springs South extended the lead to 3-0 with a pair of goals off set pieces, a 47th-minute Mollie Maupin goal off a free kick and a 53rd-minute Emily Griffin goal off a corner.
“It’s been something we’ve been discussing and trying to approach and fix and work on all season long,” Cairer said. “We’ve been tracking the ball in the air, keeping track of our marks, being aggressive in the air. Those are things that have plagued us all year.”
The Jaguars put the game away with goals in the 71st, 72nd, 74th and 79th minutes.
“After that fourth, our whole mentality and effort on the field changed,” Cairer said. “What we focused on after the game was to never give up. After being so proud of our efforts first half, I hate to see it end up 7-0 because we’re capable of more.”
Blue Springs South got its first goal in the 27th minute. After a Smith-Cotton attack, the Jaguars countered and Madison Chappell scored to make it 1-0.
Smith-Cotton had a few chances early. In the fourth minute, Jill Vansell fed a ball through to Kelsey Webb but Blue Springs South keeper Kylie Young got to the ball first. Another chance for Vansell in the eighth minute was tackled away by the Jaguars defense.
In the 34th minute, Smith-Cotton had a chance to equalize but Young got to a through ball before Lexi Webb.
In the second half, Megan Lollis had a chance off a free kick, but her shot was saved by Young. A moment later, Vansell put together a nice run, but the Blue Springs defense got back in time to stop it.
In the 51st minute, Kristen Farrell fed Vansell at the end of a nice run, but the shot was off target.
“We knew that coming in that with playing one forward up high, we would have to transition out of the back and move up and back as a unit,” Cairer said. “At times we did that well. In the second half, we really laid back and didn’t do that, weren’t really effective in moving forward.”
Jack Greer saw extended action for the first time since March and had several chances.
A long pass to her in the 28th minute was turned away by the goalie. A Greer shot in the 55th minute was saved by Young. In the 65th minute, Greer had another run but was tackled off the ball outside the penalty area.
“She’s definitely not 100 percent, but any time she’s on the field it definitely improves our opportunities,” Cairer said. “It was nice to at least get the girls in, get the seniors on the field that were able to play, finishing the game. I just wish it was on better terms.”
Smith-Cotton finished the season 8-13.
Blue Springs South will meet the Rock Bridge-Hickman winner in the championship match at 6 p.m. Thursday at Susie Ditzfeld Field.