Winners by whitewash four times already, 2019 Lady Hornets blanked a second time, 2-0 at Hannibal Monday, April 8

HANNIBAL, Mo. — For the sixth time in seven matches thus far in 2019, Chillicothe (Mo.) HS’ soccer Lady Hornets were involved in a shutout Monday (April 8). For the second time, it was they who bought the bagel.
After a scoreless opening half, Hannibal’s Lady Pirates broke the deadlock and, with the Lady Hornets gambling a bit to try to create a tying tally, capitalized on an opening to get a second goal late in the match to defeat Chillicothe 2-0 in non-conference play.
“The ladies played well against a solid Hannibal squad,” CHS coach Shannon Grable reports. “Back-and-forth chances were had by both teams.”
Although CHS goalkeeper Kennedie Kieffer was beaten twice on five Hannibal shots on goal, the coach says the five saves she did make “don’t tell the whole story as many opportunities were thwarted by the instincts” of the senior ’keeper, who defused developing Lady Pirates threats on several other occasions with her adept reads and quick reactions to get to balls entering the CHS penalty area.
The Lady Hornets (4-3) will seek to return to winning ways Friday, weather permitting, as they are slated to have their first match in the Lady Spartans Invitational Tournament at Moberly against Mexico at 5:30 p.m. at the MHS pitch.
This year’s tourney there will involve six teams – Columbia: Father Tolton Regional, Winfield, and Kirksville will join Chillicothe, Mexico, and the hosts, but there is neither bracketed nor round-robin pool play.
Instead, each team will play three no-overtime matches, being awarded either three points for a win or a point for a tie with shutouts (including ties) adding a bonus point.
Team points earned will create standings that will determine a champion, but without – in some cases – common opponents, an undisputed champion could be difficult to declare, even though one team will get that title.
For example, the two teams Chillicothe is not slated to face – Father Tolton and Winfield – do not face each other either, so all three could emerge with three victories and no losses, leaving the championship to be decided through either the shutout bonuses or the tiebreaking criteria. In that scenario, with none of the three having met the others, the first tiebreaker – head-to-head results – would be moot, sending the determination to goals differential, then goals scored, and finally goals allowed –  all achieved against different opponents.
The tournament also is different this year in that only one site – the MHS field – will be utilized, rather than the customary two. Apparent non-availability of the second site would explain the switch to the unbalanced schedule which could complicate the determination of a champion.
With only one field in use, three matches be played Friday, starting at 3:30 p.m., and six on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. After facing Mexico in the 5:30 p.m. match Friday, Chillicothe will make the nearly-2-hours trip home, probably arriving around 10 p.m., only to have to be on the road early the next morning in order to face the hosts in the 9 a.m. match. Chillicothe’s third match will be against Kirksville Saturday at 3 p.m.

Under the obtuse title-determining procedures, even if they were to sweep their three outings, two later matches could impact whether they finish as champions, by which time they’d likely already be back home.