Moments before Lee’s Summit High School boys soccer players stepped to the penalty dot to determine the Tigers’ state-championship fate, coach Dave Wiebenga huddled them together for one final message.
“Put the ball in the back of the net,” he said. “And (goalkeeper) Roman (Pena) is going to save one, and we’re going to get out of here.”
Pena did one better.
He stoned the fifth shot. And then he turned around and the made the game-clinching penalty kick to propel the Tigers to their first Missouri Class 4 state championship in program history.
Lee’s Summit defeated Chaminade 5-4 in the penalty-kick round after the two teams fought to a scoreless tie in regulation and two overtime periods.
Pena recorded his seventh shutout of the season.
“I’m still in shock,” Pena said after the match. “I can’t believe we won. I couldn’t thank my team enough. It’s been a great ride.”
That ride was certainly an eventful one. Lee’s Summit needed overtime to escape the first round of districts against Raymore-Peculiar. It used overtime again to defeat Hickman in sectionals.
A 1-0 victory against Kickapoo earned Lee’s Summit its first final four berth in school history, and the drama didn’t die there, either. The Tigers, 21-3, notched a 2-1 victory against Francis Howell Central in the semifinals before the penalty-kick win against Chaminade in the final.
“What a year,” Wiebenga said. “These guys have fought and scrapped and clawed and done everything. I think the biggest thing is they truly believe in each other.”