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Jefferson City opens districts with 5-0 win vs. Sedalia S-C

Jefferson City opens districts with 5-0 win vs. Sedalia S-C

May 16th, 2018 by Tom Rackers in Sports Prep

Jefferson City's Ria Kessell (right) battles for the ball against Sedalia Smith-Cotton's Darby Christian during Tuesday's semifinal game in the Class 4 District 9 Tournament at the 179 Soccer Park.

Photo by Mark Wilson /News Tribune.

It was one of the low points of their season.

On April 24, the Jefferson City Lady Jays lost to the Sedalia Smith-Cotton Lady Tigers on Senior Night in penalty kicks in a contest they controlled everywhere but the scoreboard.

They were really looking forward to Tuesday night's rematch in the semifinals of the Class 4 District 9 Tournament at the 179 Soccer Park.

"I think that left a sour taste in our mouths and we wanted some revenge," Guinn said after the Lady Jays blanked the Lady Tigers 5-0. "Thankfully, we got it."

With the win, the third-seeded Lady Jays (10-15) advance to Thursday night's district title game against top-seeded Rock Bridge (15-5-1). The Bruins advanced with a 7-0 win against the Waynesville Lady Tigers in Tuesday's first semifinal.

"They are obviously a tough team," Guinn said. "We're going to have to play strong and be ready to go against a talented and physical team."

The Lady Jays have shown a propensity to score early in recent games. They did it again Tuesday night when Kenzie Gourley served a corner kick to the front of the Lady Tiger net, where Greta Haarmann was waiting to score a little less than 90 seconds into the contest.

"I think everybody heaved a huge sigh of relief," Guinn said. "That was exactly what we needed. It changed the entire dynamic of the game."

In the first meeting, the Lady Tigers played a defensive style against the Lady Jays and the game was scoreless through regulation and the two 10-minute overtime periods.

"Smith-Cotton kind of naturally packed it in against us last time," Guinn said. "They stuck a bunch of players in front of the goal and made it tough for our offense."

The key to stopping that is to score early.

"That means they have to come out and try to even the game and that opens things up," Guinn said.

If that didn't force the Lady Tigers out of a defensive mode, Daelynn Scheulen's goal about six minutes later surely did off an assist by Haarmann.

"Daelynn's having a great year, she did a great job of finishing that goal with a lot of composure," Guinn said.

The Lady Jays made it 3-0 with six minutes remaining in the first half on a penalty kick by Tessa Sigmund.

"From there, we were rolling," Guinn said,

The Lady Jays padded their advantage in the first seven minutes of the second half on a pair of goals by Ria Kessell. Gourley and Scheulen had assists on the scores.

"Ria does a lot for the team in distributing the ball, she just hasn't found the back of the net that much this season," Guinn said.

The goals capped a strong game by Kessell, who drew defenders away from Haarmann on the first goal and drew the foul that led to Sigmund's penalty kick.

"She had a tremendous evening," Guinn said.

The five goals equaled Jefferson City's third-highest scoring game of the season.

Megan Duffield had two saves in getting the shutout in goal for the Lady Jays. One of the saves came on a Smith-Cotton penalty kick.

Guinn said the Lady Jays had prepped for penalty kicks at recent practices to be ready just in case Tuesday night's game went past extra time again.

"That really helped," Guinn said.

Rock Bridge defeated Jefferson City 2-0 in a regular-season meeting April 10. Both of the Bruins' goals came off set pieces in the first half.

The championship game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday.

The Jefferson City-Rock Bridge winner will play at the winner of the District 10 title game in the sectional round next Tuesday night. Kickapoo and Ozark will meet Thursday night for that title.