Lee’s Summit North players throughout the decades have heard it preached over and over again; first five, last five.
It’s the notion that the most important minutes of the game come the first five minutes after a goal and the first and last five minutes of both halves. That theme played itself out Tuesday as St. Teresa’s Academy dispatched the Broncos 4-1 in the Class 4 sectional round for the third time in four years, this time behind a hat trick by Lily Farkas.
“First five, last five,” said North head coach Ryan Kelley. “We say it every day.”
Four minutes after the Broncos, (10-13) equalized on St. Teresa’s, Farkas earned a free kick just outside the penalty area, and beat senior keeper Madison Baker to give the Stars a 2-1 lead.
Another five minutes later, the Stars led 3-1.
Two minutes into the second half, Farkas killed what momentum the Broncos started to create at the end of the first.
Kaylie Rock found some space in the 30th minute, but her shot went directly at goalkeeper Caroline Franke. In the 38th minute, Cara Panarisi passed the ball off to Madelyn Robinson, whose shot just missed the frame high.
“I thought we finished the last five minutes of the first half well,” Kelley said. “Going into halftime it was like, ‘OK, if we can kind of change a little bit of our aggressiveness, if we can fix some of the stuff in the midfield, maybe we can start creating a little bit more.’
“First five minutes, it’s about two minutes in and Lily gets that fourth goal, and that just put it away.”
Farkas got enough space inside the penalty area on the left side and hit the ball near post to put St. Teresa’s up 4-1 and the game practically out of reach.
The Stars (16-5) came in as the favorites and got on the board early. Pressuring high, Farkas intercepted a Bronco pass and slotted the ball in the right side of the net in the seventh minute.
“She’s just something else,” Kelley said of Farkas. “She’s a great player. She’s not fun to watch when you’re coaching against her, but to watch her play, her speed and how she wants to get to goal, how willing she is to shoot and how aggressive she is around the box, it’s good to see.”
On a counter attack in the 13th minute, the Broncos equalized. Kaylie Rock penetrated deep into Star territory, drew Franke off her line and a ricochet ended up in front of the goal for Madelyn Robinson to tap in.
“The first five minutes, we did all right up until the first goal,” Kelley said. “And then to bounce back and get the equalizer, I thought was good. It was nice to see us bounce back like that. The girls could have dropped their heads.”
The Broncos, who lost a vast majority of the players from the 2017 squad that beat St. Teresa’s in the sectional round and went on to the state title game, lost to the Stars on April 17 by just one goal, 1-0. But possession eluded the Broncos for most of this match with the higher stakes.
The Stars peppered the North goal, getting off 23 shots while the Broncos fired only six.
“I think the pressure kind of got to us a little more this time than it did the first time,” said Robinson. “We used to just kick it (at the beginning of the season), just get rid of it as fast as we can. Now we’re calmed down a bit. But we didn’t really do that today, so I think that’s kind of why we didn’t do well. If we would have kept the ball at our foot, we would have done better.”
A good core of the team is set to return next year, and they’ll hear it a lot more: first five, last five.