The teeth-chattering cold and a howling northwest wind made for a less-than-ideal night for soccer.
Lee’s Summit West girls’ coach Shaun Owens appreciated that. These were not conditions conducive for scoring goals — especially with a gusty, 25-mph wind ripping the length of the field and dipping the wind chill into the 20s throughout the Titans’ home match April 3 against Blue Springs.
West still managed to record a dominant 2-0 Suburban Gold Conference victory. The Titans also bundled up and left the Titan Stadium field knowing they left many more scoring opportunities unfinished.
“We had a lot of chances. That being said, we just didn’t finish today,” Owens said. “It’s tough to concentrate on finishing when the kids are in shorts and freezing cold.”
West (6-0, 4-0 Suburban Gold) scored one goal in each half — the first one while playing into the strong headwind, the second with a powerful tailwind. Creating shots proved difficult in either direction. The Titans had more looks in the second half, but many of those shots flew high and wide.
“We had a ton of shots that just didn’t fall today, but it happens,” said West midfielder Kara Privitera, who finished with a goal and an assist. “That first half going against the wind, it was brutal. In the second half, that ball traveled really, really fast.”
Privitera provided the assist on the first goal when she sent a ball to Kassidy Newsom, who dribbled through traffic in front of the box for a close-in shot just four minutes into the match.
Shortly after watching a shot sail over the crossbar early in the second half, Privitera made good on her next opportunity after Emma Edzards crossed the ball to her in the middle of the 18-yard box during the 49th minute.
“It bounced around and I got a foot on it, the goalie came out and I got another foot on it,” Privitera said. “It just played to my favor today.”
Blue Springs (2-4, 0-2 Suburban Gold) was bottled up on the West side of the field for most of the match and never threatened goalkeeper Tori Hunter, who recorded her fifth shutout of the season. The closest the Wildcats came to scoring was on a breakaway in the first half that Kenzee Peterman lofted over the goal with the wind.
“We made adjustments where we were more attacking-minded with fewer defenders and we still struggled to score,” Owens said. “But it allowed us to apply a lot of pressure once we lost the ball to get the ball back.”
But Owens liked his team’s patience and perseverance, and he knows warmer days lie ahead. Just not real soon.
West plays host to St. Teresa’s Academy April 7, and the forecast calls for another chilly day.
“We haven’t played in good weather yet,” Owens said. “I can’t wait to play in good weather where you don’t have to wear coats. That would be nice.”