Lady Eagles Soccer Makes School History

Coach Kirwan

Maia Gaddis

Liberty North’s Girls Soccer team has ended this season with a bang as they come home with a third place victory in the MSHAAA Class 4 State tournament. The state tournament took place in Fenton from Friday, June 3 to Saturday, June 4. Friday finished with the score of 1-2 against St. Dominic, making it the team’s first ever loss this season. Before that game, the Eagles made their way through the season with a 21-0 record.

Team seniors (left to right) Kamryn Schmalz, Madeline Monaco, Ashley Borron, Ava Baker, Kiersten Schmalz, Karli Angle, and Makinlee Richardson pose with their third place trophy

   “Immediately following the game on Friday I reminded them that this result doesn’t diminish what they had accomplished. I pointed out that I felt like we were the better team that night, but sometimes soccer is a cruel game and you just don’t get the result you deserve. I asked them to just keep loving each other and we’d get through the next day somehow,” Coach Steven Person said. 

   Friday night’s game came down to a goal from the opposing team being made within the last couple minutes of the second half. Many of the players were seen comforting one another after the referee brought the game to a close.  That loss wasn’t able to impact the following Saturday game as the team claimed third in state, finishing a 2-1 win against Rock Bridge. 

   “By lunchtime on Saturday, their spirit was back and we went shopping for game prep. That little bit of normal retail therapy seemed to make all the difference. By game time, they were their normal focused selves,” Person said.

   The game started slowly after it was delayed a few minutes. Spirits of the players were neutral at the beginning but began to pick up as the game went on. Person made the decision to make early subs in hopes to “bring some life to the game.” It worked.

Interview by Coach Kirwan

  “Ashley Borron immediately added energy to the game when she went in and we started to play our way back into the match. We made a tactical change at halftime in order to put more pressure on them and that worked as well. We were pummeling them, but just couldn’t find the net. Then came the setpieces, sometimes games come down to setpieces,” Person said. 

   The score was tied up after junior Ekaterina Theoharidis made a corner kick to senior Madeline Monaco who headed the ball off a defender, leading to a goal against Rock Bridge. The game didn’t stop there.

 “We continued to push, but each time we were denied until the final set piece, another corner that Ekaterina put on the money to Megan Hinnenkamp who buried it back to the post it came from which wrong footed the keeper.  From there we just had to close out 4 minutes,” Person said.

The team huddles after accepting their State medals

    Closing out is exactly what they did. The game finished with the cheers of Eagles filling the stands. Teammates showed their love, bouncing up and down, cheering, as they claimed their trophy.

    “When I realized we won third, I was stoked! It was surreal that we had come this far. Once we accepted our trophy and medals, it set in that it was my last game for Liberty North and with these girls. It was sad but the feelings of joy and excitement overthrew that feeling. Overall, I am so proud of this team and everything we’ve accomplished. I could not have asked for a better group of girls for this record breaking season,” senior Karli Angle said.