Lady Hornets' Reeter scores 18th off Graves setup in waning minutes to give Chillicothe second place in Midland Empire Conference

MARYVILLE, Mo. — Although they cut it close Friday (May 10), the 2019 Chillicothe (Mo.) HS soccer Lady Hornets keep stacking up the accomplishments and records, with the biggest ones still beckoning.
Although the strong host squad generally had the better of play, in the view of some, the Lady Hornets did what they had to do, using their stalwart, veteran defense to thwart the Maryville Lady Spoofhounds’ strong attack and then capitalizing on an MHS defensive miscue in the match’s late going to do the only scoring in a 1-0 Midland Empire Conference triumph.
The victory – courtesy of freshman Lucy Reeter’s team-leading 18th goal off senior Sarah Graves’ team-pacing ninth assist in the 65th minute and the record 14th shutout of the year for the team and senior goalkeeper Kennedie Kieffer – boosted the Lady Hornets’ final regular-season won-lost mark to 15-4 and their MEC record to 6-1, good for second place in the loop (to Kansas City: St. Pius X) by themselves this year after finishing in a 3-ways tie for the runnerup spot a year ago.
That conference finish is no small accomplishment, since three of the league’s eight teams – CHS, St. Pius X, Maryville – are top seeds in their upcoming Class 2 district tournaments and could well give the MEC three of the Class 2 state tournament’s 16 participants later this month.
The total of 15 victories is a very significant number in and of itself.
An unprecedented fifth-consecutive winning season long since mathematically assured, 15 victories equals the program’s high-water mark achieved a year ago.
If this year’s team prevails in its District 15 Tournament opener at home against Moberly – a team it twice defeated 7-0 earlier in the season – this coming Tuesday, it will establish yet another team record – this one for wins in a season.
Beyond that lies the potential for a second-ever district championship and a first-ever state-tournament victory.
Friday’s road triumph didn’t limit itself to rewriting three lines (most wins, most team shutouts, most individual shutouts).
The winning goal by Reeter – a left-footed strike just out of the MHS goalkeeper’s reach, according to CHS head coach Shannon Grable – increased her already-record-breaking goals total for a freshman. Pending additional research, her scoring a goal in five matches in a row now might be unprecedented among Lady Hornets, as well, as could be Graves’ nine assists.
In contrast to many of Chillicothe’s historic number of “doughnuts” (shutouts) distributed to opponents this spring, Friday’s was very hard-earned and warranted an extra gold star or two for Kieffer and the defensive backbone of backs Sydney Baxter, Kaylee Lewis, Elli Ross, and Devin Dowell and defensive midfielder Addie Ficken.
Led by top-drawer sniper Morgan Pettlon, Maryville pressed the attack often throughout the match, according to reports, but never was able to crack the vacuum-seal those defenders and the standout senior netminder behind them had placed on the CHS goal.
For Kieffer, not only did she add to her single-season CHS record for shutouts, but also tacked another onto her career standard. It now is at 31.
In uncharacteristically understated manner, Grable reflected after the much-desired victory, “The defense remained solid.”
The varsity soccer Lady Hornets , winners of their last five in a row and 10 of the past 11 – will take on Moberly in the district tournament opener this coming Tuesday at approximately 5:45 p.m. at Chillicothe’s Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium II. The actual start time will depend on how the preceding 4 p.m. semifinal match between second-seeded Kirksville and No. 3 Cameron progresses.
Chillicothe’s squad has played seven prior matches against the other three teams in the district-tourney field this season and won all seven by shutout, beating Kirksville three times and Cameron and Moberly twice each.