by Michael Smith
The Grain Valley girls soccer team had a chance to take the driver’s seat in the Suburban White Conference Monday.
The Eagles faced off against William Chrisman, which was 1 ½ games behind them in the conference standings. The game started two and half hours early as both teams were trying to avoid forecasted early evening thunderstorms.
The Eagles were able to adjust to the early start time and wet field conditions as sophomore Emma Thiessen led the way with four goals in a 5-0 victory against William Chrisman.
“Emma is a fantastic finisher and has scored a ton of goals this season,” Grain Valley coach Brett Lewis said. “It’s just what Emma does.”
Thiessen scored her goals off three assists from fellow sophomore Annabella Totta and one from senior Rian Handy. Two goals came from the top of the penalty box and the others were tap-ins right at the goal.
She got some help from her teammates. Sophomore Annabelle Totta, who was awarded the game ball afterward, had a team-high three assists, all to Thiessen. Senior Rian Handy also had an assist. Sophomore Meghan Knust was also a big part of the Eagles’ offense.
“We played our normal game, playing through Meghan (Knust),” Thiessen said. “We always play at our best when we find Meghan in some scenarios and when we are able to finish our chances. Meghan helps us build our attack.”
Freshman Mia Cole also contributed, scoring a goal on a penalty kick early in the second half for her second goal of the season.
“I really wanted to get a scoring opportunity because I had a few shots that missed,” Cole said. “When I got fouled, I didn’t know I was getting a PK at first. It was good to get a goal.”
“We played well as a team. We were good with our passing and first touches.”
Thiessen said she has been impressed with the freshman this season.
“She’s definitely a big aspect to our team and our starting 11,” Thiessen said. “She brings finishing skills and she’s fast. I definitely think she’s made a big impact on this team.”
The Eagles (10-4-1, 7-0) were able to adjust to the early start time and wet field conditions as they dominated possession throughout.
“It is tough to leave school, go home and get your stuff and be back here at 3:20,” Lewis said. “Chrisman arrived late and didn’t get here until 3:40. Both teams only had a few minutes to warm up. It’s something that both teams had to deal with.”
The game time change came at noon that day, which gave both teams short notice.
“The goal is to come out and play our game no matter what,” Thiessen said. “Even if it’s wet and rainy we figure it out and play our game.”
“When I am at school, I should have time to go home and come back after the game. But on a day like today, you don’t have too much time to get warmed up or get ready. It definitely changes things.”
Grain Valley freshman Mia Cole, left, scored a goal and sophomore Emma Thiessen scored four in a 5-0 win over William Chrisman Monday at Moody Murray Memorial Field. Photo credit: Michael Smith