At last: Chieftains earn first win with shutout on road
The Tonganoxie High soccer team can finally exhale.
The Chieftains snapped a 13-game losing streak Monday with a 5-0 blanking of Immaculata in Leavenworth.
"It felt good to be ahead for once and not on the losing side," sophomore Kenny Schultz said. "Once we got ahead and started scoring goals, we didn't stop. We kept the intensity up and kept playing hard."
Yes, Tonganoxie was bigger and faster than Immaculata. And, sure, Immaculata hadn't won a game all season either. But that wasn't the point, THS coach Ken Lott said.
"It just feels good to know we're doing something right," Lott said. "The kids were relaxed and almost moving the ball too much, if that's even possible. I told them at halftime to start taking shots instead of making one or two more extra passes."
THS built on its 2-0 halftime lead with three second-half goals. Five different Chieftains scored goals: Schultz, juniors Jamison Bloomer and Ryan Brammer, and sophomores Tanner Newman and Tyler Woolworth.
Schultz scored Tonganoxie's fourth goal.
"My right midfielder, (freshman) Quentin Olson, kicked me the ball and I took off down the field with it," Schultz said. "Their left defender came at me and I stutter-stepped, then with a quick burst of speed I got around him. I crossed my left foot over the ball and shot it in the back of the net."
Schultz's goal came from about 10 yards out. The left-footed goal was particularly impressive since the sophomore's stronger foot is his right one.
Bloomer's goal, which put Tonganoxie ahead 2-0, was a positive sign for THS fans. Bloomer had missed several games during the season with a groin injury. He returned for the Oct. 3 game at Baldwin and played roughly 25 minutes in the 7-0 loss.
Bloomer played about 45 minutes against Immaculata.
"He looks like he feels good," Lott said. "He took a couple of hard hits and tumbles. He's pretty close to being at about 90 to 95 percent. He's going to add another step up for us."
Senior goalkeeper Erick Lowe earned his first shutout of the season. Lowe's stats were interesting: Two saves and one assist.
Lowe actually booted a kick from the top of the box about 50 yards in the air. Woolworth was able to run underneath the ball and score a goal off the unconventional sequence.
"We have two more games left," Lott said. "Hopefully this will rub off in the final two games for another win."
The Chieftains will play a makeup game tonight against the Eudora Cardinals at Chieftain Park. The two teams had their game rained out on Sept. 18.
Tonganoxie will have its senior night Thursday against Bishop Ward. Game time is set for 6 p.m. at Chieftain Park. Parents will accompany seniors for pre-game festivities at 5:45 p.m.