Grain Valley girls soccer coach Tyler Nichol said that his seniors “deserved kind of a cherry-on-top moment” Thursday night when the Eagles faced visiting Harrisonville.
They got one – thanks in part to two juniors.
Midfielder Rylan Childers scored four goals and forward Kailey Boyer provided another to help the Eagles post a 5-1 Senior Night win over the visiting Wildcats.
With the win, the Eagles finished the regular season 19-4 overall and 8-0 in the Missouri River Valley Conference West, thus claiming the conference title. Boyers said that capturing the MRVC crown made Thursday was exciting for the seniors.
“They’ve all worked so hard,” she said. “I think it’s just exciting for them to finish their year strong.”
Childers started the scoring in the eighth minute by getting around Wildcats goalkeeper Baylee Streit and poking a shot into an open net.
“I was dribbling and I was trying to find a teammate,” Childers said. “But I was about to play it and then she looked offside, so I just decided to go (for it) myself. … I tapped it around and I placed it to the side of the keeper.”
Grain Valley made it 2-0 in the 35th minute when Childers finished the rebound of a shot by Boyers that had pinged off the far post.
“It was a really good shot and it just barely hit off the post, so I was able to follow it up and just tap it in,” Childers said.
Boyer then scored to make it 3-0 Eagles in the 41st minute.
“The girl (Harrisonville defender) actually touched it before me,” Boyer said. “But I followed up her touch because it wasn’t a very controlled touch. And then, I took a touch (toward) the center. … The keeper was out of position, so it was just an easy tap-in.”
Childers added goals in the 47th and 52nd minutes to finish Grain Valley’s scoring.
Payton Sandy provided Harrisonville’s lone goal by finishing off a corner kick in the 79th minute.
“We were trying to put some pressure on Grain Valley and find the back of the net to build a little bit of momentum and find some positivity out of a tough game,” Harrisonville coach Dan Coleman said.
For Grain Valley’s seniors, Thursday’s victory was significant not only because it was their final home game, but also because it capped their final day of high school.
“Just kind of a fun day, overall, for them,” Nichol said. “One that they’ll hopefully remember for a long time.”