The boys’ soccer team fell to Shawnee Mission Northwest last Tuesday 2-1 at the Shawnee Mission Soccer Complex. In regular season play, they’re now 1-1-0. In all match play, after their tournament last week, they’re 2-3-0.
The match was even the first half, with both teams making attacks and being forced to drop back and defend, with neither team being able to find the back of the net. Northwest’s defense was able to handle the Lancer’s 4-3-3 high press, not giving the Lancers any opportunities in the first half.
Coming into the second half, the Lancers carried the energy of the game, forcing the ball into the box, trying to penetrate the Cougar defense and kept coming away with corner kicks.
In the 53 minute the Lancer’s swung in a cross from the corner. A scuffle for the ball in the box ended with senior midfielder Josh Zillner heading the ball into the back of the net for his first goal on the season (he had one last week in tournament play).
After the goal, the Lancers were forced back on the defense. The Cougar counter-attack forced break away after break away, but the Lancer defense was able to catch up and snuff the attack dead before the attacker got to the goal.
But the Cougars were able to wear down the East defense and on an attack in the 59 minute, the Cougars broke through with an equalizing goal. Junior keeper Thomas Allegri did his best to keep the game tied up with two saves to keep the Cougars out of the net, but in the 73 minute the Cougars struck on a breakaway taking the lead.
The Lancers played with intensity in the last minutes of the game, coming up with two good strikes on goal, but couldn’t come up with anything. This is the Lancer’s third loss in four games and the second time in two weeks were the Lancers have given up the lead to lose. In their loss, they lost senior center back Nathan Kurtz-enko to a shoulder injury. With Mardikes not coming back till Friday’s game, the Lancer’s defense will be spread thin in their next game game against Lawrence Freestate at the Shawnee Mission Soccer Complex this Thursday.
Post Game Interview with Head Coach Jamie Kelly:
On last night’s game:
We played very well in the first half, when we controlled the game. We’re just having trouble scoring right now, that’s the biggest thing.
On the Lancer’s energy loss after the first goal:
It happens a lot. Sometimes you let down a little bit because you work hard, you work hard, you work hard, then you finally get that goal, and then you relax a little too much. So that was disappointing that we didn’t match the intensity that we had before and kept it going, but that naturally happens. Usually you can whether the storm a little bit, but we made a mistake on their best player and let him get behind us defensively and they capitalized on it.
Has missing Mardikes hurt defense against the counter-attack?
No. Our players are good enough to play in those spots in his place. That’s going to happen with us a lot because of our possession style and how we control the game. We will be in the other teams defensive end a lot. We’re going to be suspect to counter-attacks a lot and that’s how teams are going to have to score on us because of our possession and because we will mostly be in the other team’s offensive end. We just have to do our job and really work on getting the ball back to their end.
How will the absence of Kurtz-enko affect Thursday’s game?
Thursday will be tough because [we’re] missing two center backs now. Hopefully we’ll have guys stepping up and we’re gonna move around the lineup a little bit to see if we can fill that hole. But then getting Mardikes back on Friday will help a lot.