It was a record breaking night for the Hannibal girls' soccer team Thursday as the Lady Pirates beat Boonville 7-0 for their 11th shutout of the season. But when the game was over, it wasn't the shutout getting the attention. Instead, it was Hannibal senior Theresa Sheffer getting all the attention for her 6 goal performance.
"It was really exciting to break the record at Hannibal for most goals in a game," Sheffer said. "I couldn't have done it without my teammates."
Not only did Sheffer record a hat trick, but she recorded TWO hat tricks, in the same game!
The previous Hannibal record for goals in a game by one player was five and it was set by Chelsea Reutenauer back in 2009, when Sheffer was in the eighth grade.
Sheffer got the Lady Pirates off to a quick start, scoring four times in the first half of play. Three of Sheffer's goals came in the first eight minutes of play.
Sheffer got Hannibal on the board with her first goal in the third minute off an assist from Katherine Allen. Three minutes later, Sheffer scored again. This time it was Raylynn Charlton with the assist. Just two minutes later, in the eighth minute, Sheffer scored her third goal of the game to get the hat trick off an assist from Paige Utterback.
"I could kind of tell (it was going to be a special night)," Sheffer said. "Coach was really nice about letting me stay in. He knew that it meant a lot to me. I just worked as hard as I could to get it."
After Charlton scored an unassisted goal in the 26th minute, Sheffer added her fourth of the game in the 37th minute. Allen again picked up the assist.
"She went out there early and it seemed like when she did that, the other girls really started looking for her," Hannibal coach Eric Hill said. "It became one of those things, let's get the ball to Theresa. The girls just kind of knew she was playing well and we told Theresa to keep shooting and looking for her shot."
Sheffer's record tying and record breaking goals, both came in the second half.
Sheffer tied the school record in the 50th minute when she hooked up with Allen for the duo third pairing of the day.
"Katherine was doing a nice job," Hill said. "Theresa got on a roll and she does a nice job of finishing corner kicks for us. Normally Katherine and Theresa split duties on taking corner kicks, but Theresa was on fire tonight so we left her in and let Katherine tend to the corner kicks. She had one bad kick, but other than that, she was sending in some really good balls tonight and Theresa was in the right spot at the right time it seemed like."
With time winding down, Sheffer broke the school record in the 78th minute when she scored goal number six on an assist from Kendal Welch.
"It was really exciting to know that I did it," Sheffer said. "I worked for it tonight and it was really nice to have my teammates there to celebrate it with me."
Back to the shutout. Hannibal broke the school record for shutouts in a season with its 11th of the year. Lady Pirates goal keeper Kaitlyn Edge broke the individual record during Monday's win over Kirksville, but had to rack up one more to get the team record.
"The team got the school record for total shutouts," Hill said. "And it really is a team record. Kaitlyn is getting the credit as the goal keeper for all the shutouts we are racking up and she is playing well. She made a couple of nice saves tonight, she definitely deserves the credit she is getting, but the defense deserves a lot of credit for it as well. They are doing a really nice job right now of limiting opportunities for opponents."
Edge has three saves in the game as she blanked Boonville for the second time this season.
As a team, the Lady Pirates out shot Boonville 16-3 with all 16 shots coming on goal.
"All 16 were on goal," Hill said. "The girls did a nice job of putting stuff on frame tonight. I don't know if I have seen us do that before where every shot we have taken was put on goal, but the girls did a really nice job of making sure they gave us a chance to score. They made their (Boonville) goal keeper work tonight."
As for Sheffer, she tallied seven of the shots, scoring on six of them.
"It was exciting," Sheffer said. "We processed really well tonight. We worked the ball really well and we just had a lot of confidence in ourselves. We just went out and played."
With the win, Hannibal improves to 11-3 on the season. The Lady Pirates also improved to 9-0 in North Central Missouri Conference play.
"We are 9-0 in conference and 11-3 over all," Hill said. " As far as shutting out the conference, we still have a couple of real tough ones coming up. Moberly is our next conference game. ... We play Moberly on Tuesday. They are going to come out ready to play and it is always a tough place to go play."
Hannibal will now head to the West Plains Classic for two days of tournament play. The Lady Pirates will face tournament host West Plains tonight at 7 p.m. before returning for two games of bracket play on Saturday.