Rally sparks THS soccer in OT win
Tonganoxie put together more rallies Thursday in Basehor than a presidential hopeful.
After trailing 2-0 and 3-1, THS scored three unanswered goals for a 4-3 overtime victory against Basehor-Linwood for the Chieftains' first soccer win of the year.
"Everybody could have unraveled, but they didn't," THS coach Luke Denney said.
Three nights before, Tonganoxie was in a similar situation. The Chieftains were down 5-1 to Bonner Springs in the first half, but couldn't recover and fell, 5-2.
On Thursday, Basehor-Linwood led THS, 2-0, early in the first half. Tonganoxie then cut the score to 2-1, but Basehor-Linwood again scored and took a 3-1 lead after a Robert Kirch foul forced a BLHS penalty kick.
That's when the Chieftains' longest rally unfolded.
THS scored before the half on a Kirk Rodell kick that deflected off a BLHS defender and dropped in the net, cutting the score to 3-2.
In the second half, Tonganoxie eventually gained momentum.
After a lethargic first 10 minutes, the Chieftains threatened on several occasions. In the 22nd minute of the second half, Brad Willis called for a ball in the middle from Rodell on the left side. Rodell obliged his fellow senior who was 18 yards out, and the Chieftains erased the two-goal deficit.
With the game headed into overtime, THS again started the period on their heels. But after the first few minutes, Tonganoxie provided the final hoopla.
As De Soto defenders crept up on a free ball, the ball made its way to open field. Rodell charged as three defenders were in pursuit.
The senior, though, got a shot off and it sailed to the right of an extended goalie for the game-winner.
Rodell had numerous shots at the goal throughout the game, but narrowly missed on a few occasions.
His frustration became visible in the second half, but the tailor-made sequence in overtime made up for his near misses.
"I didn't think that last one was going in the way I was shooting," Rodell said. "It felt pretty good."
Basehor-Linwood junior Chris Prgomet and senior Nick Box were a handful in the first half, but Tonganoxie kept them in check in the second half. Box scored one of the Bobcats' goals on a 40-yard kick.
"We kept it away from 20 (Box) and 10 (Prgomet)," Denney said. "We marked it up tight and kept it away from them."
The tight match didn't come without some other excitement. A handful of yellow cards were handed out throughout the game, including two late in the game. Tempers flared late when Box and Rodell were carded for language. An outspoken Basehor-Linwood fan who disagreed with some officiating also was asked to leave just before the end of regulation.
As for the Chieftains, they escaped Basehor with their first win of the season and now are 1-1.
Tonganoxie played without senior Chris Colon, who was serving a one-game suspension for a red card in the Bonner Springs game.
With Colon out, Tonganoxie went back to last year's 4-4-2 for the BLHS contest. Against Bonner Springs, the team went to a 4-4-3 scheme, a new alignment for this season.
"They never gave up and they just kept playing hard," Denney said. "You couldn't ask for more."
Tonganoxie played Tuesday at home against Lansing and travels Thursday to Perry to take on Perry-Lecompton. The varsity begins its game at 4 p.m.