For the second time Wednesday night, Kayla Deaver and Sarah Peters were one-on-one with the match on the line. Deaver won the first meeting, knocking the ball past the Lee’s Summit North goalkeeper for a goal that got Lee’s Summit to overtime and, eventually, to penalty kicks.
If Deaver could get another ball past Peters, the PKs would continue. If Peters made a stop, the Broncos would win.
Peters was determined not to be burned a second time.
Peters guessed left, which proved to be right, and batted Deaver’s shot away. North outshot Lee’s Summit 5-4 in penalty kicks to settle the 1-1 tie in a Suburban Gold Conference match at Bronco Stadium, giving the Broncos their first victory over the Tigers in almost three years.
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Neither North nor Lee’s Summit had missed from the dot when Deaver stepped up with the Broncos up one after their five kicks. The Tigers’ dynamic junior forward was the whole reason the two teams were here in the first place – she rebounded a shot off Peters and into the net as the Broncos were clinging to a 1-0 lead with 20 seconds left in regulation.
Deaver ran up to the ball and sent a shot low to Peters’ left. Peters lunged toward the right post and swatted the ball with her fingertips to begin a joyous celebration on the Broncos’ bench. She first thought Deaver was setting up a shot to her right but then quickly changed her mind.
“Last save of the game and I had to make it,” Peters said. “I was going to go the other way but I was determined to go to the left side and got it.”
It was just one of many saves Peters made against a Lee’s Summit offense that created numerous opportunities over the first 80 minutes. During a scoreless first half, she made a leaping stop on a blast from Maddie Souder and repelled a one-on-one with Deaver at the corner of the 8-yard box. But Lee’s Summit’s defense was solid, too, and the Broncos found few chances to get a shot on goal.
“Lee’s Summit is a great team defensively and we struggled to get behind them tonight,” North coach Ryan Kelley said. “I think we created more opportunities the first time we played them, but I think we had better quality this time.”
North finally got through with 10 minutes left in regulation, when sophomore midfielder Madelyn Robinson took a nice through ball from Alexis Mitchell in the left corner of the 18-yard box and angled in a shot to the far post. North picked up the pressure after the goal, and Broncos appeared to have their first victory over the Tigers since 2014 in hand.
But as the final seconds of regulation wound down, Deaver slipped past North’s defenders and found herself alone with Peters, who stopped her first shot but couldn’t get to the rebound.
“Our defenders just let the ball go right through us,” Peters said. “Twenty second left, there were a lot of nerves. I got a touch on it, but the defenders didn’t track back and she just shot it in.”
“Over the last three seasons here Kayla has absolutely killed us,” Kelley said. “She’s so dynamic, so strong, so fast. I’m not sure we’ve had a match the last three seasons she hasn’t scored on us at least once.”
Two 10-minute extra periods went by without a goal, so the two teams lined up for penalty kicks. Abby Groom, Amanda Sampson, Maddie Souder and Lexy Hawkins connected for the Tigers; Liz Bales, Mallory Lepper, Mitchell, Gianna Palmentere and Lilly Davis made theirs for the Broncos. Deaver stepped to the mark for the Tigers’ last shot of the round after Davis put the Broncos up one.
And the Tigers wouldn’t get any closer.
“Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t,” Lee’s Summit coach Dave Wiebenga said. “Kudos to Peters, she made a great save. I didn’t think any of our PKs were bad, sometimes goalkeepers make a save.”
The loss left Lee’s Summit 7-5 overall and 5-3 in conference play before Thursday’s annual Melanie Grace game against Lee’s Summit West. North, meanwhile, stood 11-3 before playing Park Hill South Thursday, and firmly atop the conference at 8-1.
More importantly, according to Kelley, the Broncos snapped a seven-match losing streak against their crosstown rivals.
“This was really big for the girls mentally,” Kelley said. “It’s been a big point the last couple of seasons. They wanted to beat Lee’s Summit.”