Soccer team splits games: Two more this week
There's no rest for the weary.
After playing strongly through five games in two weeks, the Tonganoxie High School soccer team is beginning to show signs of wear.
This week brings two more games.
The team is 3-3 in the Kaw Valley League and 3-4 over all, but after starting last week with a win over Piper on Sept.19, an injury-depleted Chieftain team was beaten 7-0 by Mill Valley on Thursday.
Senior forward Mike Andrews and senior defender Kyle Rodell both missed Thursday's game because of injuries.
Also absent from Thursday's game was senior forward Rodney Lobb, who had gotten a red card in the Sept. 19 game.
Another factor contributing to the Chieftain's loss on Thursday was the play of Mill Valley forward Brian Johnson, who used his quickness to score five of his team's seven goals.
In its early week game against Piper, the team's defense played strongly, allowing only two scores.
Transitions to the offense were smooth for the most part, allowing the Chieftains scoring opportunities, which they capitalized, winning the game 3-2.
Scoring goals in the game were seniors Chris Ruff, Mark Gepner and Scott Breuer. Senior Ryan Lowe had two assists in the game. Senior Rodney Lobb got the other one.
Putting the ball in the net is something that Coach Harold Pittman said the team had worked on in practice after having scoring problems the previous week.
"Ball movement was really good and we finally got some finishes," Pittman said. "Defensively, we stopped the ball pretty well."
He said this week's practices would focus on keeping the ball in the offense's possession longer.
Pittman said that wear on the team's defense from continuous play was a factor in Thursday's loss.
"The defense played well, but when you're pounded all game, you start to get worn down."
After a few days of rest, the Chieftains will square off with Immaculata on Tuesday, and the team will play its next game at 4 p.m. Thursday at Basehor-Linwood's Field of Dreams.