THS soccer climbs above .500 mark
A loud "clank" Monday at Chieftain Park almost instantly became a joyous sound for Tonganoxie High soccer players.
The noise came from soccer ball meeting crossbar. Kirk Rodell's sharply kicked shot late in the second period against Lansing hit the bar, bounced down at the ground and then rolled past the LHS goalie for what would be the game-winning goal with 3:30 left to play.
Moments later, the only noise came from the Chieftain players' mouths -- celebratory cheers for a team now above .500 for the first time this year after a 3-1 victory.
"After that we knew we had it," Rodell said. "We stepped it up on defense."
The teams went scoreless until Chris Colon shot in a goal with 23:15 left in the second half. Less than a minute later, THS was called for interference in the box and the Lions were awarded a penalty kick. Lansing's kick was successful and the game was tied again with 22:43 left.
After Rodell scored the go-ahead goal, Colon iced the game with 1:16 left. The Lansing goalie stretched out for a shot to his left, but Colon then received a pass and shot it past the goalie's right side for his second goal.
Tonganoxie won the season's first meeting a few weeks ago in Lansing with a 2-0 win in front of a rowdy Lansing crowd.
Colon wanted to ensure the end result would be the same Monday.
"We wanted to shut them up," Colon said.
For much of the game, Tonganoxie didn't dominate as it did in Lansing. Although they eventually won, THS coach Luke Denney said the Chieftains didn't play as well for much of the rematch.
"It seemed to me they played how we should have played," Denney said. "We got frustrated. We started forcing it and taking ourselves out of it."
Denney obviously was happy with the final score, which improved the Chieftains to 5-4-1 and put them one win away from last year's win total. Tonganoxie went 6-11-1 last year in Harold Pittman's final season.
Tonganoxie recorded another big win Thursday when they defeated Basehor-Linwood 6-1 on the road. The Chieftains just slipped past the Bobcats 1-0 in the team's first game Sept. 4 in Tonganoxie.
THS is idle until Monday when the team travels to Leavenworth for another Kaw Valley League game against Immaculata.