Chieftains advance in soccer regionals
THS shuts out Maur Hill 1-0
As Van Halen's "Jump" blared from the speakers on the scoreboard at Chieftain Park Tuesday night, Tonganoxie soccer players were warming up for their 4A regional game.
The team must have been listening.
Playing against 10th-seeded Maur Hill, No. 7 Tonganoxie held the Atchison school scoreless, thanks in part to a leaping save by senior goalie Matt Tate in the first half. Tate went straight up for the grab, while senior defender Dustin Schultz dived for a ball in the second half that would have gone in the goal.
"Matt had trouble," Schultz said of Tate. "I dove. I had to get it out right before he got the goal."
The saves helped the Chieftains preserve a 1-0 game and advance to Thursday's game against Kansas City-Christian. The game is set for 6 p.m. at KC-Christian Park.
Sophomore Travis Andrews' unassisted goal in the 25th minute of the first half was all Tonganoxie (8-8-1) needed Tuesday, although the Chieftains had a scare late in the game.
In the 35th minute of the second half, the Junior Ravens (5-11-0) celebrated an apparent goal, but they were called for an offsides. THS held on in the final minutes for the win.
Tonganoxie must now direct its attention to 14-1 KC-Christian, which drew a bye in the regionals and will be rested. The Chieftains, meanwhile, will have a practice sandwiched between games. Tonganoxie coach Harold Pittman said he tried to start the regrouping process in the second half Tuesday, but the game was closer than he wanted it.
"We usually try to give a little bit of relaxation during a game," Pittman said. "Especially with a better opponent coming up."
Although game film isn't reviewed and scouted as in football, Pittman said he's heard about the Kansas City team.
"It's word of mouth," Pittman said. "They have a couple of guys on the front side who head the ball well."
He also said the team will work on eliminating open shots from the middle.
Against Maur Hill, Tonganoxie had 22 shots on the goal, 12 in the second half. The Junior Ravens had 13 on the game, including 10 in the second half. Tate had 10 saves; Maur Hill's Tim Becker had 12. The Chieftains had five corner kicks, compared to Maur Hill's two.