By Christopher Tenpenny
It was a picture-perfect start to the season for the Harrisonville girls’ soccer team as the Lady Cats defeated Lincoln College Prep 8-0 in the first game of the season March 22 at Harrisonville.
“It was important for us to go out and start playing,” Harrisonville head coach Dan Coleman said. “We have so much prep time and the anticipation starts to build up. We were already for the season to start.”
Junior forward Abigail Overbay put on a show, scoring five goal in the game. Overbay had a hat-trick (three scored goals) by halftime.
“We didn’t come out with any kind of plan. It just sort of happened,” Coleman said. “We know Abbey is a great scorer and she kept getting opportunities.”
Madison Lalman added two goals and Kennedy Smalley scored another.
The defense was not tested often against Lincoln Prep, but when it was, the Lady Cats quickly stopped any kind of momentum and would get the ball back down the field.
After starting the season with a win, Harrisonville traveled to Pembroke Hill March 24. The level of competition drastically changed, but Coleman said his team did a good job of staying focused. Pembroke Hill shutout Harrisonville in 2021, winning 1-0.
The Lady Cats made sure they would not be shutout this year as Overbay got the scoring started with the first goal of the game. Overbay has six goals in just two games played.
“That goal was created,” Coleman said. “We connected on some great passes and found Abbey on a through-ball. It wasn’t one of those goals where we solely relied on our speed, but passed the ball well, got the defense to stop and scored. It was fun to watch.”
Pembroke Hill would answer back with a perfectly placed corner kick to tie the game at 1-1. Before halftime, Pembroke would score again on a missed assignment and take a 2-1 lead. There are several new faces on the defense, but Coleman thought his girls did well defending a tough team.
“Overall, I thought they answered the call,” Coleman said. “That first goal was just good offense and really hard to defend. We’ve obviously have a few things to clean up, but I thought our girls did a good job defending.”
The defense would ramp up in the second half, shutting out Pembroke Hill and keeping them at two points. Unfortunately for the Lady Cats, they were also shutout and would go on to lose 2-1.
“The key for me is good teams and good coaches are going to adjust to what we do well,” Coleman said. “We can’t only rely on our speed and expect to be successful. We have to be able to score in other ways. The girls know that and they are eager to learn.”
The Lady Cats are scheduled to play again tonight at Harrisonville. The game is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.