The equalizer was a shock to the system for Lee’s Summit North. The Broncos scored shortly after the opening whistle, and Raymore-Peculiar was finding few opportunities to strike back.
For a few minutes, anyway.
The tie didn’t last long though, much to North coach Ryan Kelley’s delight. North soon regained the lead, and the upper hand, and went on to beat Ray-Pec 4-1 Tuesday night in a Suburban Gold Conference match at Bronco Stadium.
North, which beat Ray-Pec 4-0 back on April 10, appeared on its way to another convincing win when Kaylie Rock rebounded her own header off a corner kick and punched a shot in just over two minutes into the game.
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But about four minutes later, Ray-Pec forward Raegan Edwards took advantage of a misplayed ball by the Broncos in their backfield during a Panther counterattack. Edwards took possession and rifled a shot in the box that slipped off the hands of Bronco goalie Sarah Peters.
“I would say I was a little shocked by it because we were so amped up after we got the first one,” said North midfielder Alexis Mitchell, who scored two goals in the second half. “We still came out with a lot of passion and fire. It was just kind of a silly mistake, but we recovered quickly.”
North regained its footing quickly, and with 22 minutes to play in the first half the Broncos retook the lead on a goal by Gianna Palmentere, who gained possession just outside the box and drove for the score.
“I thought our girls did respond pretty well,” Kelley said. “”They didn’t drop their heads and we got the lead back not long after that. It was disappointing to allow them to equalize but it was good to bounce back like we did.”
Ray-Pec, 6-9-1 overall and 1-7 in the conference, would never catch the Broncos again, but they still made things interesting with counterattacks that kept the Broncos from getting too complacent. Morgan Houston almost put the Panthers ahead midway through the first half on a breakaway but pushed her shot right. She got free for another one-on-one opportunity later in the half that ended with Peters making a diving save.
“They were doing a good job of running at us from midfield and kind of putting us on our heels,” Kelley said.
Mitchell padded North’s lead five with a blast from just outside the box into the upper net five minutes into the second half. Her second goal came with 10 minutes left when she turned and fired from the middle of the box on a ball from Palmentere.
That gave North four goals from three different players, and it would have been five from four if Keelie Fothergill’s penalty kick hadn’t been swatted away by Ray-Pec goalie Cassie Kruse in the second half.
“We’ve got a lot of girls who can get up into the attack,” Kelley said. “It was nice to get those goals and spread them around. Hopefully it gives a few more girls more confidence.”
The victory was the second in as many days for North, which won at Blue Springs South 3-0 the day before. The Broncos stood 10-3 overall and 5-1 in the conference before Thursday’s match at Park Hill.