THS girls soccer falls to Bonner Springs in opener
It was the first match of the season for the Bonner Springs and Tonganoxie girl’s soccer teams, so it was hard for either team to enter Monday’s matchup with high expectations.
The Chieftains were fresh off spring break having played only one scrimmage, not to mention that they have never played on turf. Meanwhile, the Braves had only a week’s worth of practice and several key players having just finished a basketball season that ended in the state championship game.
Nobody made excuses, these are merely facts. But a game still had to be played.
Bonner Springs (1-0) took a fast start to a 2-0 victory against Tonganoxie (0-1) Monday night at David Jaynes Stadium.
“They moved the ball well, that’s a solid team,” Bonner Springs coach Mike Moulin said. “We happened to take a couple shots and they landed.”
Not even a minute and a half into the match, the Braves’ Skyler Taylor found the back of the net for the early lead. It allowed them to take more chances and, in doing so, it seemed the ball never passed midfield on the Chieftains’ end.
Tonganoxie senior Shyanne Gergick told her team that having played Bonner Springs for several years she knew the match would be physical.
“I don’t think anybody believed me,” she said.
Now her teammates do.
“It was a nice wake-up call,” Chieftain sophomore Aly Bartholomew said.
The Braves kept pushed the ball with a little bit more aggression in the second half and Taylor scored her second goal of the day at 33:24.
The Chieftains had some spurts of their own. Several times in the second half, Tonganoxie senior Molly Welsh broke past the Bonner Springs defense only to have a couple defenders converge to stop the attack.
Around the 2:00 mark, Welsh had a one-on-one with the goal and missed Tonganoxie’s closest chance at a score wide left.
Second-year Chieftain head coach Justin Seever said Welsh did well to keep her composure and get off a solid-looking shot. There are many issues to be addressed, he said, but the main ones are finishing those attacks and defensive composure. Conditioning was a factor, as was finding out what positions players should play.
Even though the match brought the flaws to light, Seever was upset with the outcome.
“I hate losing to them,” he said, “I don’t want to lie to you.”
But the Braves were not without faults of their own. The early goal in the first half came at the expense of energy and focus.
“We have a lot of good individual players,” Taylor said, “but we need to come together more to form more of a solid team so we can have our offense and defense matching up at the same levels.”
The season is still early, with Tonganoxie slated for matches Thursday at Spring Hill and Friday at Lansing. If these teams are to meet again, it promises to be a much different match.
“We’re not where we want to be, but it’ll get there,” Gergick said. “I hope we get another chance at Bonner in regionals.”