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Pattonville Pummels Hazelwood West In 3rd Annual Kicks For Cancer Game

Senior Mikala McGhee's three assists, all on throw-ins, help Pirates get past Wildcats and grab lead in Suburban North Conference race.

CHESTERFIELD -- The third Annual Kicks For Cancer game might've been the biggest one ever. and Hazelwood West High Schools hoped the annual meeting between the girls soccer rivals would raise more than $10,000 for cancer research and awareness.

This year, the event expanded a bit by adding another game, between West County rivals and Parkway South, which means more possible revenue for the charity, and it would give the Pirates and Wildcats a chance to play at the beautiful new Parkway Central Stadium, where the Colts have a brand-new field turf playing surface.

But on that field, the matchup between Pattonville and Hazelwood West remains the same -- the two best teams in the Suburban North Conference, duking it out for the league championship.

And for the second straight year, it was Pattonville that proved superior in the matchup of Suburban North heavyweights, as the Pirates outclassed the Wildcats for a 4-2 win.

"I thought we played really well," Pattonville head coach Tom Iffrig said.

That's certainly an understatement on an always emotionally-charged day for the coach, who dedicated his team's performance to his grandfather Cecil, who died years ago after a battle with prostate cancer.

Iffrig also said his thoughts were with longtime friend and teaching partner Pete Barrett, who's daughter Ashlee, was recently diagnosed with leukemia.

The Pirate players also seemed extra motivated by the day, as they came out on fire against a usually tough Hazelwood West defense.

The Wildcats came into the game allowing just over a goal a game this season, but the Pirates stormed to a 3-0 halftime lead, and never looked back against a stunned Hazelwood West squad.

Pattonville senior Mikala McGhee led the way with three assists, all on throw-in restart passes, which seemed to be the one weapon Pattonville had that Hazelwood West could not answer.

"I still remember the first time we faced Mikala," Hazelwood West head coach Jason Sellers said. "We knew a little about her because her dad played and coached at West. But the first time she grabbed the ball for a throw-in, she launched a missile. It's such an incredible weapon; it's always impossible to defend."

Sammie Bauer, Megan Anth, and Kailey Utley were the first-half goal scorers for the Pirates, while teammate Kaely Fitterling added an insurance tally that gave Pattonville a 4-0 advantage midway through the second half.

Freshman Erica Atnip scored two goals in the final eight minutes for Hazelwood West to close out the scoring.

Pattonville is now 10-4 on the season, but remains unbeaten in Suburban North league play, at 3-0.

The defending conference champion Pirates have league games left against Riverview Gardens, Ritenour, Hazelwood Central, and Hazelwood East.

But with wins already against McCluer, McCluer North, and now Hazelwood West, Pattonville is now in the driver’s seat and needs only to win out to claim its second straight Suburban North Conference title.

“Everybody’s been playing great,” Utley, Pattonville’s leading scorer with 12 goals this year, said. “We’ve all been playing together, and it’s definitely been going good.”

Pattonville will be back in action with two home games early next week, including a matchup against Riverview Gardens on Monday, and a showdown with Ritenour on Wednesday.

Then on Thursday, the Pirates will be back at Parkway Central for a matchup against the Colts, before heading to Burlington, IA, for a tournament next weekend.

When Pattonville gets back from Iowa, the Pirates will have just four games left before the start of the state playoffs, which begin the second week in May, and will be hosted by McCluer North.

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