Union’s Bethany Coons continued her big soccer season Wednesday at Washington High School.
Coons scored three goals, including the game-winner with three minutes left to play, to lead the Lady ’Cats to a 3-2 victory over Washington.
The three goals gave Coons 44 on the season, shattering the school record of 34 for a single season. Coons added one goal Thursday against St. James, giving her 45 on the year.
“It’s amazing. It’s fun to watch. You saw it again tonight. She’s a machine,” Union Head Coach Matt Fennessey said of Coons. “It’s a number of things. It’s a combination of her speed, her tenaciousness, her ball control and her ability to read plays. And the list goes on. She’s a great soccer player and a great talent.”
Coons is in a battle for most goals in the St. Louis area with Farmington sophomore Taylor Sancegraw, who has scored 50 goals.
Union (17-2) plays at Farmington in its regular season finale May 10, which also will be the championship game of the Pacific Tournament.
“I didn’t know exactly what to expect from her (Bethany) coming into the season. Having Alyssa (Bethany’s older sister and junior on the team), I had a little bit of an idea of her talent,” Fennessey said. “We talked about her a couple of times. You never know what to believe when you have eighth-graders coming up. It was a great surprise. She’s going to be highly recruited. Her team is helping her get to that point. The team is doing a good job getting her the ball and putting her in positions where she can score.”
All three of Union’s goals came on high passes over the Washington defense, which led to breakaways.
“Union is a good team and Bethany Coons is a very good player,” said Washington Head Coach Chris Lanemann. “We can’t let a player like that get that much open space with the ball. We let her do it three times and she made us pay. Those were Union’s only real chances the entire game. It proves that you can’t let down your guard even once, especially playing a team like Union.”
Alyssa Coons had two assists while Bri Clark added one.
“I told the girls all we had to do was get it over their heads,” Fennessey said. “Washington’s middle play is fantastic. I told them instead of worrying about going through them, let’s go up and over them and attack that away.”
On the game-winning goal in the 77th minute, Washington felt Bethany Coons was offsides after receiving a lob pass from Alyssa Coons.
“It was close. Bethany is good at being right there where she needs to be,” Fennessey said. “I felt like there was a time in the first half where she probably was onside on a break and they called it. That’s the way it goes. It goes 50-50. Some you get and some you don’t.”
Washington (10-12-1) took a 1-0 lead eight minutes into the game when Halee Nurnberger’s shot was deflected into the net by a Union player.
Coons tied the game in the 38th minute, just two minutes remaining until halftime.
“Our game awareness has to be better. Two of Union’s three goals came very late in each half,” Lanemann said. “We have to be better aware of the time and concentrate to make sure we don’t give anything up late.”
The Lady ’Cats grabbed a 2-1 advantage when Coons netted her second goal in the 49th minute on an assist from Clark.
Washington tied the game 2-2 in the 60th minute when Anneliese Baer scored on an assist from Nurnberger.
“Our second goal was a thing of beauty,” Lanemann said. “Anneliese took a pass from Halee and ripped a shot from about 25 yards out. We have been really working on our mids taking shots like that.”
The game appeared to be headed to overtime until Union struck late in regulation.
“I was sweating it because the two games that we’ve gone into overtime, we lost,” Fennessey said. “Both of our losses have been in overtime.”
Union’s Briana Lakebrink and Washington’s Andrea Bourne both played the entire game in goal.
“Andrea had no chance on any of the goals being that they were all breakaways,” Lanemann said.
“Briana always does an honorable job. She doesn’t give up anything weak. So far this year, she’s been solid,” Fennessey said. “Brooke Breeden had to go to stopper and did a fantastic job. Kayla Sitzes played a lot of minutes and did a fantastic job. We had a lot of girls put out a lot of heart and effort. Jordan Thorpe is another one. Kaila AuBuchon wasn’t feeling her best. When it wasn’t all there, the girls gave everything they had.”
Union won all three of its games in Camdenton last weekend at the Laker Invitational.
Bethany Coons was the top performer for Union, scoring 11 goals in the three games.
On Friday, Union beat Warrensburg, 7-3.
On Saturday, Union beat Rogers Heritage, 5-1, and Waynesville, 5-2.
In the Warrensburg game, Bethany Coons scored four goals and Thorpe added three.
Bethany Coons, Thorpe, AuBuchon, Alyssa Coons, Brittany Faber and Kayla Thornton each had one assist.
Lakebrink posted seven saves in net.
Against Rogers Heritage, Union jumped out to a 3-0 victory by the half and added two more goals in the final 40 minutes.
Bethany Coons scored three goals while AuBuchon and Kierra Mundt each had one goal.
Abbie Brack, Alicia Brueggemann and Clark each had one assist.
Lakebrink made nine saves in goal.
Against Waynesville, Bethany Coons scored four goals. Clark added the other goal.
Faber posted two assists while Brueggemann and Alyssa Coons each had one.
Lakebrink made eight saves in net.