Soccer game has debatable goal
Eudora The Tonganoxie High boys soccer season came to a questionable end Monday at Eudora in the Class 4-3-2-1A regionals.
Tonganoxie lost to Eudora, 4-3, but a debatable opening goal by EHS shouldn't have counted, according to many THS players.
Eudora senior Logan Hartpence took the ball down the left sideline, then blasted a shot toward the goal with 34:46 remaining in the first half. The ball wound up in the back of the net. Goal.
Or was it? Senior THS goalkeeper Erick Lowe said the ball went through a hole on the side of the net and slipped through to the back of the goal. It didn't actually cross the goal line, Lowe said.
"My foot was right on the post," Lowe said. "I was shocked how it went in. It was definitely a major factor in the game."
Referees gathered among themselves for roughly a minute before declaring that the goal stood.
"I don't think he took the time to review it like he should have," Lowe said.
Goal or not, there's little arguing that Hartpence, who scored the goal, gave THS numerous problems with his speed. Hartpence ended up with a hat trick in the Eudora victory.
"I told the kids they needed to cut off the pass to him or try to get in front of the ball before he got to it," THS coach Ken Lott said of Hartpence. "They beat us on the outside."
Sophomore Kenny Schultz scored the first THS goal with 31:38 remaining in the first half. Schultz found himself wide open after he followed a THS shot that deflected off the goalkeeper. When the ball settled at his feet, Schultz had a chip shot since the EHS goalkeeper dove for the previous shot.
Tonganoxie (2-15) trailed, 2-1, at the half.
Junior Jamison Bloomer tied the game at two with 38:08 left. Since Eudora fouled Bloomer inside the box, the junior had a penalty kick.
In an odd sequence, the EHS goalkeeper appeared to be dancing as Bloomer approached the penalty kick in an attempt to break his concentration. It didn't exactly work.
"I was looking at the corners, so I didn't even notice," Bloomer said. "I think he was trying to pick the side I was going to kick to. I made a decision to where I was going to go right at the last minute. Luckily, it went in."
Sophomore Tanner Newman gave THS a 3-2 lead with 33:39 remaining, but the Chieftains couldn't hold the lead. Hartpence scored the final two goals for Eudora.
Field conditions were slippery from the rain that fell early Monday morning. As a result, many players slipped all over the field.
"You lose your footing quite easily and misjudge balls when they skip," Lott said. "But that's just playing soccer. You have to know what the ball is going to do when you go out on the field. You can't guess what it's going to do."
Tonganoxie actually was a higher seed and was supposed to play host to the playoff game, but a touch football game that was played on an area of the Chieftains' home field last week left that part of the field in bad shape. Because of the field's condition, the game was moved to Eudora.
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