The Blue Springs South girls soccer team would be hard pressed to play a better game than it did against No. 3 state-ranked Lee’s Summit North Thursday in the Class 4 District 13 championship game.

The ninth-ranked Jaguars had all the motivation. They lost to the Broncos twice during the regular season and were eliminated by them in the district title game the past two years. An inspired effort led to South outshooting North 21-8 (10-6 on goal). But a late clutch play by North’s Kaylie Rock and a stout Bronco defense led North to its fourth straight district title with a 2-1 win at Lee’s Summit North High School.

With the game tied at 1, Rock received a pass from Gianna Palmentere at the left side of the penalty box. Rock had a South defender on her and ended up shaking her with a quick juke. She then found a wide open Madelyn Robinson, who put in a shot right at the goalmouth that Jaguars goalkeeper Megan Swanson had no chance to grab.

“I saw a perfect run in front of me that I could make when Gianna had the ball,” Rock said. “I really have her to thank for getting that opportunity. Everything was happening so fast. I only had one defender to beat and I really wanted to get the game over with.”

Added Robinson: “I thought she was going to shoot, then she looked up and saw me, and I knew that she was going to pass it. She did a great cut to fake out that defender to get me the ball.”

That was the goal that eventually led to a celebration for the Broncos (19-3) that ended up with a pair of players dumping the remains of the team’s water cooler on head coach Ryan Kelley.

“Madelyn doesn’t scored a lot of goals for us but she scores big ones,” Kelley said. “She scored a big one against Lee’s Summit earlier in the season. This was really exciting.”

Although Rock connected with Robinson for the winning goal, goalkeeper Sarah Peters was a huge reason for the Broncos’ district title.

“The goal they scored, I got a little bit of a touch on it,” Peters said. “With the rest of the shots on goal, I was pretty on point. In the district championship, you have to make those saves.”

She made nine saves, four of which were on dives. One of those dives stopped a bullet off the foot of South forward Nina Stine. Peters just got her right fingertips on the ball to deflect the shot away in the first half.

Overall, the defense came together to limit South to just one goal on 21 shots. On the season, the Broncos have held teams to a meager 0.71 goals per game. And this all happened even after all-state center back Addison Merrick graduated last year and went on to play at Kansas.

“We had a new girl take her position,” Peters said. “The defense has been great and we have been using a new formation, and it’s worked out well.”

Added Kelley: “South had a great, great game plan. They were counter attacking us really well, especially early on. They made some adjustments to get Nina open more and got that goal. We didn’t do a good job defending her. We made sure in the second half not to get those opportunities. We defended her a lot better in the second half.

“Sarah made some big saves, There’s a reason for it (her being the Suburban Big Seven Goalkeeper of the Year).”

South coach Todd Findley echoed Kelley’s assessment of his game plan. It finally paid off 2:02 left in the first half when Stine beat several defenders, cut to her right to get a clear shot and unleashed a rocket that ricocheted off the hands of a diving Peters and into the net for a 1-1 tie.

“We felt we were in this game the whole time,” Findley said. “We loved our energy. Just a penalty early and (the Broncos) did what they do. They get a late goal because they are a superb team. We executed our game plan exactly like we wanted.”

Alexis Mitchell gave North the early lead when she scored on a penalty kick after Keelie Fothergill was fouled inside of the penalty box.

With the win, the Broncos move on to play St. Teresa’s Academy in a Class 4 sectional playoffs at 6 p.m. Tuesday at home. The Stars beat North 2-0 in the regular season.

“They had some bumps this year, but they took it to us when we played them,” Kelley said of fifth-ranked St. Teresa’s, the defending Class 4 state champion. “They outplayed us that day and we didn’t play well. We wanted another shot at them and we’re looking forward to it.”