Tonganoxie soccer earns first victory
Chieftains shut out Ward, 6-0
After six straight losses to open the season, the Tonganoxie High girls soccer team finally broke through with a big second half and a victory Tuesday at Bishop Ward, in Kansas City, Kan.
The Chieftains didn’t much resemble a winless team, shutting out the Cyclones, 6-0.
Although his team only led 1-0 at halftime, thanks to a goal from Sarah Williams, THS coach Justin Seever knew the players were getting close.
“We had a million opportunities,” the coach said of the first half.
With Tonganoxie (1-6) knocking on the door of its first victory of the season, at the half Seever told his players they could lock up the win if they were aggressive.
“This first 10 minutes, come out and set the tone,” he told them.
Senior Alex Bartels scored less than three minutes into the second half and a goal from Madison Simmons that put THS up 3-0, Seever said, was a dagger.
The Chieftains controlled possession against Ward and spent a good portion of the evening on the attack. When the Cyclones did find a rare chance, Seever said, junior goalkeeper Eva Drennan denied them. Drennan had four saves in the shutout, and her coach said two of those were difficult denials.
The scoring kept coming for Tonganoxie late in the second half, with goals from Aly Bartholomew, Ashley Kotowske and Alissa Donnelly (her second in two days).
Seever said finally getting in the win column was important for the Chieftains.
“It feels like the monkey’s kind of off our back,” he said.
The players were “ecstatic” after the win, Seever said, adding that the victory should teach them about how to play as a unit.
The victory was the end of a two-day span that provided THS with some positive momentum. The Chieftains hadn’t scored a goal until Monday’s home loss to Piper and the following day they earned their first win.
“We’ve got a lot of good to build off the last couple games,” Seever said. “Everyone’s happy. It’s like the season started Tuesday.”
THS had been outscored 25-2 in its previous six matches before shutting out Ward.
Tonganoxie will have a week off before returning to the pitch at 4 p.m. Tuesday for a home rematch with Bishop Ward.