In any sport, it is tough to beat a team three times in one season. Thursday night, the Hannibal girls’ soccer team found out just how hard it was the Lady Pirates lost 2-1 in overtime to Moberly in the district championship game.
“It was heartbreaking,” Hannibal soccer coach Eric Hill said. “The girls are all obviously upset. We feel like the better team didn’t win tonight, but that is how it goes sometimes. We didn’t do the things we needed to do in the second half and it came back and got us.”
Hannibal had beaten Moberly twice this season. The first win was a 1-0 decision on March 28 played at home. The second game was originaly supposed to be played at Moberly, but bad weather had the game rescheduled and then moved to Hannibal where the Lady Pirates won 3-2, beating the Lady Spartans in penalty kicks after neither team scored in overtime.
This time, Hannibal wasn’t as lucky.
Hannibal scored its goal early. Senior Theresa Sheffer put the Lady Pirates up 1-0 in the 6th minute on an assist from Meghan Grimes.
The game stayed that way for the rest of the first half.
Four minutes into the second half, Hannibal goal keeper Kaitlyn Edge made an amazing save to preserve the shutout. Then, 15 minutes into the half, Moberly finally got one past Edge to tie the game at 1-1.
“We really changed how we play too much at the start of the second half,” Hill said. “The first 25 minutes of that half, it seemed like the girls were playing more to not lose. It was like they were playing to keep a 1-0 lead. I talked about it at halftime, that we needed to come out an attack and we just didn’t do it to start the second half.”
Late in the second half, Moberly’s goal keeper had a game saving save of her own when she stopped a shot by Katherine Allen.
“The last 15 minutes of the half we were really on them,” Hill said. “We had some good opportunities. We had three or four headers that their keeper made save after save on and we just weren’t able to put it away.”
When regulation ended and the game was tied, the two teams went to an overtime period for the second time this year. However, 10 seconds into the 20 minute period, Moberly scored to end the game and win the district championship.
“We kind of knew what to expect,” Hill said. “They had the ball to start overtime and they knocked the ball up the field. Bailey Coleman ran onto it for them and we just didn’t play it well defensively and she scored 10 seconds into overtime. That was it. That ended the season.”
While it wasn’t the way Hannibal wanted to end the season, the Lady Pirates set several records over the course of the season. Hannibal finished its season with a team record 19 wins and 17 shutouts. Edge recorded a school record 16.5 shutouts.
Sheffer set the single game scoring record when she recorded six goals against Boonville on March 18. Then, on senior night in the Lady Pirates final home game of the season, Sheffer set the single season scoring record when she scored five times against Southern Boone. Sheffer added two more goals in the postseason to finish the season with 35 goals.
“It is a disappointing outcome,” Hill said. “But it was a great season for the girls. We were 19-6 overall. We scored 98 goals and allowed only 20. Unfortunately those last two killed us today. ... It is going to be rough for a while, but once they get past it, the girls need to look to the great season they had.”