Chieftain soccer team hopes to close with winning year
Even though the Tonganoxie soccer team is running different personnel on the field this season, the team's record is similar to a year ago.
Last year's squad included 16 seniors and was 7-6-1 with two regular season games left. This year's version has seven seniors and a 6-7-1 mark with identical remaining games against Mill Valley and Immaculata.
The 2000 Chieftains finished 12-7-1, winning four straight before falling to Mill Valley in the State Quarterfinals. THS hopes to gain some momentum again this year after two shut-out victories against De Soto and Piper last week.
"We're looking for that break so we can break even or have a winning season," THS coach Harold Pittman said. "That will really help our standing when we get into postseason play."
In the Oct. 9 game, De Soto and Tonganoxie were scoreless going into overtime, but senior Kevin Colon struck quickly with a goal in the third minute of the extra period and helped Tonganoxie to a KVL victory.
The game against De Soto concluded a stretch of six games in 10 days. Tonganoxie dealt with fatigue and slipped by the Wildcats.
"We had a problem coming into that game with tiredness," Pittman said. "I felt like they did really well holding out, especially the way they finished at the end."
Tonganoxie struck earlier against Piper, scoring midway through the first half on freshman Chris Colon's second attempt at the goal. The Chieftains held on for another 1-0 win.
Tonganoxie defeated the Pirates 2-1 six days before, and Pittman said the second game went smoother.
"It kind of eased us in a little bit better," Pittman said. "We know what their strengths were and where to watch in setting up on offense."
The Chieftains have a two-game winning streak with the narrow victories. THS had lost three 1-0 games and a 2-1 decision earlier in the season.
Tonganoxie finishes the season against Immaculata at 6 p.m. Thursday at Chieftain Park. It will also be Senior Night.
Assignments for 4-3-2-1A Regionals will be announced Saturday. Sites and times will be determined at that time. Tonganoxie is in the Northeast Regional and opening round action starts Monday.