Harrisonville forward is off to a historic pace
By Christopher Tenpenny
When Harrisonville junior Abby Overbay gets into the open field, opposing soccer teams have yet to find a way to slow her down. In the Lady Cats first four soccer games of the season, the team has scored 24 goals. Overbay has 14 of her own.
“She’s a special player,” Harrisonville head soccer coach Dan Coleman said. “She’s quick, she’s opportunistic and she’s going to do whatever she can to get open.”
Overbay’s hot start reached its peak March 31 when she scored six goals against Warrensburg, a Harrisonville single-game record. Twice this season she has had a hat-trick (three goals) before halftime.
“She has the ability to find the open space and find the back of the net,” Coleman said. “She also has a great relationship with Maddie (Lalman) and the two play off each other well.”
As a sophomore, Overbay got her first varsity action in 2021. She led the team in scoring with 30 goals and was key factor in the Lady Cats making the district championship game. The school record for goals in a single season is 31 set in 2011. Overbay is on pace to shatter that record.
“When she came in last year as a sophomore, she helped us out a ton, but it was her first time playing varsity,” Coleman said. “Now she’s a year older, has played the game at this level and is really coming into her own.”
Overbay’s counterpart, Lalman, has scored five goals this season and keeps opposing defenses honest when game planning against Harrisonville.
“Maddie can score too and requires our opponents to respect both girls,” Coleman said. “You can’t just hone in on one because then the other one will beat you.”
Through five games, the Lady Cats find themselves at 3-2, same as last year against the same five teams. Despite the identical record, Coleman sees a lot more growth in this year’s team. In 2021, the Lady Cats outscored its opponents 9-7 through five games. In 2022, the goal differential is 24- 4.
“We’re ahead of where we were last year and are in a good place,” Coleman said. “We have more experience and are a more complete team. What also stands out is these girls are hungry for success. A lot of them got to experience the disappointment in losing a district championship and they want to get this program back to winning conference, district and making final four runs.”
Harrisonville is competing in the Smithville Tournament this week and lost to Smithville 2-0 Monday.
The Lady Cats were scheduled to play Class 4 Staley Tuesday before playing Van Horn today. All the teams are bigger than Harrisonville which is a big reason why the team participates in the tournament.
“We go up there to get challenged,” Coleman said. “It translates on the scoreboard and we come home with a trophy, that’s great but we are up there to see where we stand against good teams and get ready for the rest of the regular season.”