Kaylie Rock is just a sophomore, which means she doesn’t have an abundance of varsity experience with Lee’s Summit North. But in the biggest soccer game of her career and for her team, she possessed all the skill and poise of a senior.
Rock scored two second-half goals, settling an intense back-and-forth battle with crosstown-rival Lee’s Summit West and sending the Broncos to the Missouri Class 4 girls state soccer final with a 2-0 victory Friday at Swope Soccer Village.
LS North, 22-3, will play Eureka, 18-6, at 2 p.m. on Saturday in its first state final appearance since 2012. The Broncos last won a girls soccer state title in 2000.
“I didn’t feel a lot of butterflies until the game started,” Rock said. “I feel pretty confident in our team and how we’ve been preparing.”
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Rock is a starting forward, and she is the Broncos’ second-leading scorer. But she had never played in a game this big before, and the Broncos were playing a LS West team that had battled them close twice in two victories during the regular season.
“Kaylie is a calm and confident kid,” LS North coach Ryan Kelley said. “I’m not surprised that she finished those.”
Rock finished a short cross from Alexis Mitchell in the 58th minute, making a good run on the ball to find the far post. Her second goal in the 70th minute was a little more creative: She took the ball right in front of the right post and put shot on a beeline that found the opposite post.
“I saw just a perfect crack between the goal and (LS West’s goalkeeper), and I thought this is a great chance and I have to take it,” Rock said.
Neither team could break through in a back-and-forth first half, which saw LS West put constant pressure on LS North goalkeeper Sarah Peters and the LS North defense. Peters was credited with six saves in recording her 11th shutout. LS West goalie Tori Hunter had seven saves.
And both teams had breakaway chances within a minute of each other midway through the first half: LS West’s Kassidy Newsom went the length of the field on a breakaway but pushed her shot right; Rock followed with a run down the field and a one-on-one shot that Hunter smothered.
“West really came out strong,” Kelley said. “They played really well the first half and they were giving us trouble. They have a lot of good players and we weren’t defending well.”
LS West, 16-6, will play St. Joseph’s Academy for third place at 10 a.m. on Friday.