Tonganoxie soccer looks ‘lost’ in 8-1 defeat
Disarray ruled the day when the Tonganoxie High boys soccer team took on visiting Bishop Ward on Thursday.
At various points in an 8-1 home loss, passes were misplayed and players were out of position as the Chieftains suffered their worst loss of the season to the Cyclones.
It was a rough afternoon on the pitch for THS and coach Brian Kroll said his team “looked absolutely lost and utterly confused” after seeing a three-goal deficit at halftime balloon to eight in the final minutes of the match.
“That was probably one of the worst efforts we’ve made all year,” Kroll said.
The players’ frustrations showed. Many times, junior captain Matt Titterington tried shouting encouraging words to keep his teammates up but nothing was working for Tonganoxie (1-11).
“We didn’t seem to have it today,” Titterington said. “We didn’t seem to really want it until the one point during the second half when we scored.”
It wasn’t until the 77th minute that the Chieftains finally got a goal. Matt Saathoff took the ball at the top of the box, got past a couple of Ward defenders and beat the goalkeeper with a nice one-on-one move.
Kroll said it a rare instance of the team executing.
“You saw what happened when we started touching, moving and controlling the ball,” he said, “we put it in the net, without hesitation.”
Other than a couple of quick runs by Evan Stilgenbauer, THS didn’t get many good looks against Ward. Kroll said the Chieftains can do better.
“They know what to do, they’re capable of doing it, they’re just not executing it,” he said, adding he was proud they didn’t give up when they were down 8-0. “That’s something they need to hold on to right now.”
Titterington said the team can’t afford to focus on the lopsided score — “We can’t linger on it,” he said.
Kroll also said THS needed to leave this disappointing loss behind and told the players so afterward.
“They knew that what was going on was terrible and they didn’t want to be reminded of it anymore than I wanted to remind them of it,” he said.
Instead, Titterington said, the Chieftains need to focus on what they can fix, such as their touches and working as a unit.
“If we do our best, whatever happens we’ll be happy with,” the defender said.
Ward’s eight goals were the most surrendered by THS this season. The previous high was four, which happened twice — against Bonner Springs and Turner.
The seven-goal differential also was the worst of the year for Tonganoxie. Its previous worst was four, against Bonner Springs.
At 6 p.m. on Monday, the Chieftains play at Turner, in Kansas City, Kan.