Back-to-back goals sink soccer team at Free State
Tonganoxie held its own midway in the first half against 6A Free State on Monday in Lawrence.
Unfortunately for the Chieftains, Free State's Andrew Huffman turned a scoreless game into a rout.
And it took just under two minutes.
Huffman scored in the 18th minute, then again in the 19th, to put the Firebirds up 2-0 on their way to a 4-0 victory at Free State High School.
Free State, 3-0, needed some time to get on the board against the Chieftains, but added shots by Bryan Spangler and Paul Becker in the second half.
Spangler scored in the 57th minute, while Becker connected on a free kick in the 65th minute.
The Chieftains couldn't knock off the bigger school, but THS coach Harold Pittman was happy overall with the performance.
"I felt like the defense, after the first couple goals, lost some confidence," Pittman said. "If we could have controlled the ball, we would have done a lot better."
Despite the shutout, Firebird coach Jason Pendelton saw things that needed tweaking before a showdown with Shawnee Mission South today.
"I thought we had trouble finishing," Pendelton said of the Firebirds' early execution Monday.
While Tonganoxie has already played six games, Monday's meeting was just Free State's third contest.
Pendelton wouldn't mind having more games in the books going into today's game. Shawnee Mission South defeated Free State 2-1 in overtime in last year's state quarterfinals.
"We're going to have to bring our lunch pails tomorrow," Pendelton quipped about the expected showdown against South.
On Monday, Free State outshot the Chieftains 27-7. The Firebirds had a 10-4 advantage in the first half and a whopping 17-3 edge in the second. Free State goalkeeper Alan Martinez saved three shots on goal, while Luke Brown had seven saves for the Chieftains (2-3-1).
Tonganoxie has gone into double overtime three times this year, but on Monday, Free State definitely made sure that wasn't necessary.
"Obviously they've got some guys on their team who just have a nice touch," Pittman said.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Chieftains. On Thursday, THS won at Perry-Lecompton, 3-0. Chris Colon had two goals, while Travis Andrews had another.
The Kaws had to defend most of the day, as Tonganoxie outshot PLHS 25-6, including a 15-1 margin in the first half.
Tonganoxie's next action is Thursday at Piper.