Struggles continue for THS soccer
Chieftains blanked at Piper, fall to 1-5-1
Piper 4, THS 0
First half scoring
Megan Woolley (PIP), 29:10
Megan Woolley (PIP), 28:15
Second half scoring
Megan Woolley (PIP), 20:46
Megan Woolley (PIP), 8:26
Kansas City, Kan. The month of April has been anything but kind to the Tonganoxie High girls soccer team, and Monday's trip to Piper provided yet another bump in the already rough road.
THS was blanked for the fourth consecutive game in a 4-0 loss. Megan Woolley scored all four goals for the undefeated Pirates, who extended the Chieftains' winless streak to six contests.
PHS nearly scored less than three minutes into the game, but a Pirate shot attempt bounced off the crossbar. The teams battled for possession for the next several minutes before Woolley split a pair of defenders and fired a shot by Chieftain goalkeeper Lauren Jackson with 29:10 to go in the first half.
Woolley, who will play collegiately next year at the University of Central Missouri, doubled the Pirates' advantage on a similar play less than a minute later.
"That's what she does," THS coach Justin Seever said. "When you're one of the top players in the state and someone gives you a window, you go for it and it's going in."
The Chieftains (1-5-1, 1-4 Kaw Valley League) nearly cut the deficit in half just before the break. Emily Soetaert passed to Mackenzie Price in front of the PHS goal, but Pirate keeper Sara Ferguson blocked Price's shot attempt with 1:40 left in the half, allowing Piper to take its 2-0 lead into intermission.
Following a THS foul in the box, Woolley completed a hat trick on a penalty kick midway through the second half. Tonganoxie's Madison Simmons came up wide left on a free kick about a minute later, then Woolley got a free kick of her own with 8:26 remaining. She fired her shot by a wall of Chieftain defenders, past Jackson and off the bottom of the crossbar for her fourth and final score.
Seever's squad continued to battle and nearly ended its scoreless streak on another try by Price, but her shot sailed over the goal with 5:43 to go.
Despite the Chieftains' recent scoring woes — they've been outscored by a 29-1 margin during their winless stretch — Seever said he's seen improvement in their offensive attack in recent contests, including a scoreless tie Thursday at De Soto.
"We were, night and day, better offensively in this game," he said. "There's always concern about (scoring). That's the nature of the beast when it comes to soccer, but I wouldn't say it's a glaring concern. It's going to come, but t's just going to take some time."
The junior varsity also fell Monday, dropping a 10-0 decision to the Pirates.
THS will get another chance to reverse its fortunes Tuesday at home against Bishop Ward. The Chieftains defeated the Cyclones in their season opener on March 27, 7-1. The JV game will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Chieftain Park and the varsity contest will immediately follow. Since the teams have already played once this season, Tuesday's meeting won't have league implications. THS will also play Friday at home against Class 5A Leavenworth.