Lady Jays fall to Ursuline Academy

KO’d in PKs

Jefferson City goalie Becca Sturgess blocks a shot by Maddie Tague of Ursuline Academy during Saturday afternoon’s game at the 179 Soccer Park.

Jefferson City goalie Becca Sturgess blocks a shot by Maddie Tague of Ursuline Academy during Saturday afternoon’s game at the 179 Soccer Park. Photo by Kile Brewer.

As Lady Jays goalkeeper Becca Sturgess started to walk toward the locker room Saturday afternoon, Jefferson City coach Eddie Horn had some encouraging words for her.

“You stopped one, that’s all we can ask,” Horn said after Jefferson City dropped a 1-0 decision in penalty kicks to Ursuline Academy at the 179 Soccer Park.

After 100 scoreless minutes — two 40-minute halves and a pair of 10-minute overtime periods — it looked like one stop in PKs might be enough.

Kaley Ruff, Katie Tambke and Sarah Luebbert converted on Jefferson City’s first three attempts in the penalty-kick round. That gave the Lady Jays a 3-2 lead because Sturgess had stopped Ursuline Academy’s second attempt.

But Jefferson City missed its next two tries in the best-of-five series — one blocked, the other over the net — while Ursuline Academy converted its pair to close it out.

“I was very comfortable going to PKs because I have all the faith in the world in Becca,” Horn said.

With that confidence, the Lady Jays changed their shape to a more defensive mode with an eye toward the penalty-kick round.

“It was something we hadn’t really practiced before and the girls did a really good job with it,” Horn said.

Jefferson City had the best scoring chance of the game midway through the first half when Sarah Luebbert capped a run with a shot that went just wide of the post.

Ursuline Academy put pressure on Sturgess and the Jefferson City defense in the final 10 minutes of the first half with repeated trips deep toward the Lady Jay net. But Jefferson City was able to turn them away.

“We did a great job of not caving and reining things back in,” Horn said.

Sturgess picked up a pair of good saves in the second half to send the game to overtime. In extra time, Ursuline Academy had the only two shots and the contest went to penalty kicks.

“I know you have to play PKs because there has to be a winner, but to me, we never gave up a goal,” Horn said.

Sturgess finished with four saves for the Lady Jays (1-1).

“For our second game, a second game in less than 24 hours, a game against a team of that caliber, we played pretty well,” Horn said. “It may not show up on the scoreboard or how we looked at times, but we played smart and we played well defensively.”

Jefferson City managed seven total shots, three on goal.

“Our offense wasn’t all that great today, but they are a very good team,” Horn said.

Jefferson City is back in action with three games this week at the Lee’s Summit Tournament, opening at 5 p.m. Monday against Raytown.

In Saturday’s junior varsity game, Usuline Academy posted a 1-0 victory against Jefferson City.

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