Katelyn McIntyre records hat trick to power LHS girls soccer past Leavenworth

photo by: Chris Duderstadt

Lawrence High senior Katelyn McIntyre tries to possess the ball during the second half of the Lions' 3-0 win over Leavenworth on Tuesday at LHS in the Sunflower League playoffs. McIntyre recorded a hat trick to lead the Lions.

Lawrence High senior soccer player Katelyn McIntyre has spent most of her high school career at right back, but one wouldn’t know it with how she blitzed through the Leavenworth back line with ease in the Lions’ 3-0 win over Leavenworth on Tuesday at LHS.

McIntyre — who has transitioned to playing at forward — was in attack mode from the opening kickoff in the Sunflower League 11th-place game. The LHS senior intercepted a pass from a Leavenworth defender before scoring 14 seconds in. The defender-turned-forward scored again in the 10th and 58th minutes on shots from the top of the 18-yard box to finish with a hat trick.

“It was awesome. I couldn’t believe it, honestly,” McIntyre said. “The girls just set me up really well and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

According to McIntyre, the move up top took a little bit of a learning curve, but the transition was made a little bit easier with one of her teammates going through it as well. Lawrence High coach Matt McCune also recently moved sophomore Banner Williams from the back line to the forward position.

“Me and Banner work really well together,” McIntyre said. “Working well together on defense and then moving up to forward together really helped because we already knew how to work together. We really just know how to play off each other.”

The McIntyre-to-Williams combination nearly gave the Lions another goal in the first half, but Leavenworth keeper Hannah Hawley came off her line to make the save. Williams has still found some recent success, though, after scoring twice in the Lions’ 7-1 win over Junction City on Monday.

“We’ve moved Banner from the center defender up top because her pressure is amazing,” McCune said.

McCune also lauded McIntyre for the pressure she has provided in the attacking third. While McIntyre’s quick strike gave the Lions an early shot it the arm, the Pioneers nearly responded with an equalizer in the seventh minute. Leavenworth senior Alexis Roan blasted a shot from distance that was batted down by LHS goalie Victoria Mosakowski. The Pioneers had a chance for a rebound, but couldn’t convert.

Mosakowski made seven saves — including one with three minutes on a 1-v.-1 opportunity for the Pioneers.

“When she gets scored on, it’s usually off of a ball that’s hard to handle and there’s a rebound. As a defense, we haven’t done a great job of following our runners,” McCune said. “Not allowing a rebound was fantastic. Then that last save was wonderful. It was a point-blank shot with some speed and she caught it.”

The Lions (3-9-3) will go for their third straight win at 6:30 p.m. Friday at LHS for senior night against Topeka High. The tilt with the Trojans will be the final home match for McIntyre, Mosakowski, Maria Duncan, Mary Carr, Sophia Dominguez, Mia Comparato, Taeghan Sharpe, Mikayla Downs, Bess Davison, Grace Odrowski and Monica Steffes.

“I’ve been playing the seniors a little bit more,” McCune said. “We have a great freshman class that deserves minutes, but I’ve been taking those minutes away from them because it’s the 11th hour for the seniors and they know it. They deserve those minutes from what they’ve given the program over the last four years.”

McIntyre expressed her gratitude toward McCune and the LHS coaching staff for those minutes, and is thankful that the she’s learned about more than just soccer during her time in the program.

“It’s kind of just made me who I am today, especially my coaches and my teammates,” McIntyre said. “They’ve just kind of made me the person I am today and I don’t know where I’d be without them, honestly, or this program.”