A little cold weather couldn’t stop Theressa Sheffer and the Hannibal Lady Pirates.


With temperatures in the low 40s, the Lady Pirates stayed hot both offensively and defensively. Thursday night against Kirskville, the Hannibal offense, fresh off a ten-goal game against Canton, potted five more goals. Defensively, the Lady Pirates weathered the Lady Tigers attack and came up with back-to-back shutouts in the 5-0 win.


A little cold weather couldn’t stop Theressa Sheffer and the Hannibal Lady Pirates.

With temperatures in the low 40s, the Lady Pirates stayed hot both offensively and defensively. Thursday night against Kirskville, the Hannibal offense, fresh off a ten-goal game against Canton, potted five more goals. Defensively, the Lady Pirates weathered the Lady Tigers attack and came up with back-to-back shutouts in the 5-0 win.

“I was real happy with how we played,” Hannibal head coach Eric Hill said. “We looked a little tight at first, and I think that was a little bit expected with it being our first conference game and the girls know that Kirksville is a pretty good team. ... I think we played a pretty complete game tonight.”

The final score make look lopsided in favor of the home team, the game was actually close for a long time. Hannibal and Kirksville played a fairly even first half with both teams getting chances. Play went up and down the pitch with neither team really controlling the play.

Hannibal had two chances to score in the first 20 minutes of the first half. Kristen Dodd came in on the Lady Tigers’ goalkeeper and got off good shots, but couldn’t bury the goal.

Undeterred by the missed chances, Dodd switched up her game. Instead of trying to score, she would become the playmaker. It was a good strategy for the Lady Pirates. Dodd racked up four assists in the game, setting up Sheffer twice and Tayler Charlton twice.

Sheffer broke open the scoring with 9:15 left in the first half. She broke in on the Kirksville keeper and beat the diving goalie in the bottom right for her first goal of the game and sixth of the season.

The freshman has scored in all three games this season for the Lady Pirates.
Sheffer’s goal was the only tally of the first half for either side. After the break, the Hannibal offense began to pull away.

Sixteen minutes into the second half, Sheffer struck again, banking a shot in off the right post.
The 2-0 lead gave Hannibal a comfortable lead. Instead of just trying to protect the lead, the Lady Pirates remained aggressive.

“That mentality of that, when they’re down you keep your foot on throat — I think we did that,” Hill said. “We went at them tonight.”

Almost 10 minutes after her third goal, Sheffer once again found the back of the net for her third goal of the game and eighth of the season. With eight goals in three games, Sheffer has outscored the Hannibal opposition 8-6. Hill said part of her success is tied to Dodd.

“Her and Kristen Dodd work so well together — it’s like they just know where each other are at on the field,” Hill said.

After netting her second-straight hat trick, Sheffer and the rest of the Lady Piratse pretty much had the game in the bag. Hill decided to rest some of his players that had been playing all game and make sure everyone got into the game. Charlton, the starting goalkeeper for the JV team and goalie/defender for the varsity squad, was inserted into the game at forward. Nearly 40 seconds after being put into the game and just two minutes after Sheffer’s goal, Charlton found herself in the right spot and booted the ball past the Kirksville goalie for her first goal of the season.

A little more than two minutes later, the Lady Pirates again stayed on the attack. After a corner kick and scramble in front of the Lady Tigers’ goal, Charlton buried her second goal of the game to put Hannibal up 5-0.

“Forty seconds in she gets a goal, and it was a nice shot,” Hill said. “She hammered it. Then she got the second goal and I joked to [assistant coach Cody Smith] that she’s instant offense if we ever need it. It was nice to see her come in and get two goals like that.”

Kadie Hays had more work Thursday against Kirksville than she did Tuesday against Canton, but the result was still the same: A shutout. Hays stopped everything her way for her second shutout in as many games. She even survived two late penalty kicks by Kirksville to maintain the goose egg.

Hays had help blanking the Lady Tigers. Despite the Hannibal defense battling injuries, the backline played its best game of the season and shut down the Kirksville attack.

“We had to move people around,” Hill said. “Brittni Shaw, who is a starter for us, has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. Meredith Voss went down pretty early tonight — her hamstring was cramping up, so we moved Katherine Allen back. She normally plays center mid, but she’s been a defender for her club team and she just filled that role perfectly. Samantha Cockrell filled in well at times and Jamie Closser was doing real well for us. Sarah Hammock, it just seems like she’s willing to run through a brick wall back there. The defense looked really good back there.”     

The Lady Tigers were originally scheduled to host the contest, but rain damaged the Kirksville field. With the all-weather synthetic grass field at Porter, Hannibal offered to be the home team. The offer was accepted and Hannibal got to play its third home match of the week.

Hannibal is now 2-1 on the year. On Monday the Lady Pirates will hit the road for the first time this season. At 5 p.m. Hannibal will take on Boonville in another NCMC game.