Chieftains soccer plays well in 4-2 road loss at Lansing
Tonganoxie High's boys soccer team put forth one of its better efforts of the season Monday at Lansing, but it wasn't enough for a road victory.Tonganoxie High's boys soccer team put forth one of its better efforts of the season Monday at Lansing, but it wasn't enough for a road victory.
Chieftains coach Brian Kroll was proud of the team's play in a 4-2 losing effort.
“I think as far as the actual game of soccer ... we held our own with a perennial powerhouse,” Kroll said, “and for the most part I think we beat them.”
The second-year THS coach made that statement because the match was tied at halftime before the Lions scored two second-half goals on penalty kicks.
Before that, though, Tonganoxie (5-6-1) got out to a 1-0 lead on the road. Matt Saathoff had a direct kick on the left side from roughly 35 yards out and he sent it low and hard into a crowd, where the ball ricocheted off a few players before Chieftains forward John Lean controlled it and poked it in for a score.
LHS responded with two goals of its own before THS got a rare chance to score with virtually no time left on the first-half clock. Kroll had just put Ben Edmonds on the field in the final minutes of the first half. The sophomore substitute pushed the ball into the box with the clock winding down and got tripped by a Lansing defender while making a cut toward the goal.
That set up a penalty kick with just 0.2 seconds remaining on the clock. Saathoff took the PK and converted it by sending it into the right side as the keeper guessed left.
Kroll said he was ecstatic with how the Chieftains played, despite the loss.
“I'd told the kids before the game as long as we all brought our 'A' game we could actually stand a chance and beat this team,” the coach said.
They weren't able to pull it off, but the coach said senior captain Marcus Titterington, junior goalkeeper Keaton Truesdell, Saathoff and, really, everyone on the team played at a high level.
The coach said Luke Faherty had a good match on the right side at midfield and Cody Martin and Jeremy Fox were at the top of their games, too.
“It's really hard for me to single any one player out tonight,” Kroll gushed, adding it was an overall team effort and each player did his job.
The coach did admit, though, that Saathoff played at a higher level than usual at Lansing, which helped Tonganoxie's cause.
“When Saathoff brings his game, there aren't many in the state better,” Kroll said.
THS has just four regular-season matches remaining on its schedule and Kroll was excited about where the team stands with the postseason getting closer.
“If tonight's team shows up, we would have a legitimate argument for saying we would go 4-0 the rest of the season,” he said. “We actually did something tonight that Turner wasn't able to do — score on Lansing twice.”
At 6 p.m. Thursday, Tonganoxie plays at Bishop Ward, in Kansas City, Kan.