Team Scoring Mark Falls as Chillicothe (Mo.) HS Soccer Girls Win Postseason Opener
Lady Hornets advance to district semifinal versus Savannah with Monday home shutout of Cameron
By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
In what projected as a foregone conclusion, Chillicothe (Mo.) HS’ soccer Lady Hornets eclipsed the program’s record for goals in a season Monday (May 17) when senior Allison Ishmael tallied the first goal of an eventual 6-0 victory over Cameron in the opening (quarterfinal) round of the 2021 Class 2 District 8 Tournament.
Hosting the tourney at their own artificial-surfaced Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium II, the Lady Hornets received two goals from Ishmael – her seventh and eighth of the season – along with an assist as they dispatched the Lady Dragons for a third time in as many tries. For the season, Chillicothe outscored its nearest Midland Empire Conference neighbor 22-0 in three meetings.
The outcome, paired with the subsequent 4-0 Savannah victory over St. Joseph: Lafayette at misty, rainy Litton Stadium, set up a tournament semifinals duel between Chillicothe and SHS’ Lady Savages Tuesday (May 18) at 7 p.m. in Chillicothe.
That third clash of the year – CHS owns 1-0 and 4-0 triumphs from the first two – will follow the semifinal match between No. 1 seed Maryville and No. 5 Excelsior Springs. ESHS’ Lady Tigers knocked off fourth seed St. Joseph: Benton 3-1 in Monday’s opening match at the stadium.
Savannah’s first-round win featured a first-half 3-goals “hat trick” by star forward Corinne Stewart.
Chillicothe (14-7) figured to have a laugher in its match, given its domination of Cameron during the regular season. However, despite the Lady Hornets’ near-total control of the action in the first half, they led only 1-0 at intermission and were far from even chuckling.
Not quite connecting on many opportunities to score throughout the match’s first 35 minutes, the hosts kept probing and prodding until, with under four minutes left in the half, they finally broke through.
Newly-graduated Chloe Funk lofted a high kick from the offensive left side about 10 yards on the attacking side of midfield ahead toward the middle of the Bob Fairchild Field pitch. When it descended at the top of the Cameron penalty area, a Lady Dragon failed to control it, instead having the ball carom to Ishmael.
The senior quickly triggered a right-footed shot from about 20 yards that skittered past Cameron goalkeeper Makayla Provin and into the net for the Lady Hornets’ record 67th goal of the season after 36:33 of play. The goal was Ishmael’s seventh and the assist Funk’s fourth.
After twice in the final 25 seconds of the opening half nearly netting a second goal, Chillicothe commenced the second half in front only by the surprisingly-small single-goal margin, but it didn’t take long for the levee to break.
Precisely 3:30 into the final half, Ishmael got the payoff when Cameron’s goalkeeper and a retreating back got crossed up on how play a ball which a Lady Dragon had redirected into the seventh seed’s own “18” (penalty area) after it was driven that direction by Chillicothe’s Juliann Gabrielson.
With the goalkeeper uncertain that she could pick up the ball legally and the back expecting her netminder to either do that or kick the ball away, they managed to let the ball trickle away long enough for the stalking Ishmael to come by and rip a shot from about 18 yards out on the right side across the goalmouth and off the far goalpost and in for her eight of the year. For Gabrielson, it was her eighth helper.
That mistake started a fracture in the Cameron defensive façade.
In the 55th minute, on a high-arcing left corner kick by Reeter, Chillicothe junior back Sophia Luetticke – positioned only about seven yards from the opponent’s goal line – read the trajectory and distance well and leaped to have the ball bounce off her legs and ricochet into the net, making it 3-0, Chillicothe. It was Luetticke’s fourth goal of the year and extended classmate Reeter’s assists team record to 21.
Barely two minutes later, Cameron again could not settle a pass attempt by Chillicothe attacking midfielder Julia Stimpson at around the top of the Lady Dragons’ penalty area. This time, when the ball got away, Gabrielson was in position to collect it and fire home a strong, rising shot from about 20 yards out in the middle.
Now up 4-nil midway through the second half, Chillicothe further expanded its margin to the more-expected level when it added on twice more about 10 minutes later in a span of less than three minutes.
At 66:46 of the match, promising Lady Hornets freshman Hailee Williams fired once, twice, three times from just inside the Cameron penalty area after Ishmael sent the ball her way. The third attempt finally got past Lady Dragons defenders and looped over the head of Provin and in for Williams’ second varsity goal.
Not quite three minutes later, with the match result long since decided, Chillicothe top gun Reeter got the payoff on a beautifully-executed 3-ways passing play with Gabrielson and Stimpson.
Getting to a loose ball just shy of the end line to the right of the Cameron goal, Gabrielson slid the ball back to Ju.. Stimpson about 15 yards from the let. Ju. Stimpson directed a crisp pass back in the direction of the Lady Dragons’ goal, but angling across to her right. As Cameron players and the goalkeeper moved with it, Reeter charged in from the offensive right side to intersect the ball’s path and use her right leg to redirect it slightly back to the left and into the goal about seven yards away. It was her 28th goal of the season, expanding her now-team-record total.
Summarized CHS head coach Jimmy Chapman, “Great job by our team of creating opportunities and just sticking with it. Never wavered in our confidence and just kept playing tough.”
Statistically, while Ishmael was scoring twice and earning an assist to lead the attack, Chillicothe junior goalkeeper Allie Italiano was handling the ball only perhaps five to eight times all match. For a third time this season, she got credit for a shutout without ever being required to save a shot on goal. The whitewash was her and the Lady Hornets’ 12th of 2021.