Tough start: Tonganoxie High soccer drops close match against state contender
The Tonganoxie High boys soccer team didn’t get to christen the new Beatty Field turf as it had hoped Friday, but the Chieftains still played a strong match against a quality opponent.
THS fell behind, 2-0, in the first half to Kansas City Christian, last year’s Class 4-3-2-1A third-place team.
The Panthers scored with 25:28 left in the first half and then about 3 minutes later with 22:19 left on the clock.
Tonganoxie, though would respond later in the half.
With 5:03 left before intermission, sophomore Cuyler Kietzmann scored Tonganoxie’s first goal on the new turf.
At the 4:14 mark, Tonganoxie nearly had another. THS was attacking more and looking more confident.
Tonganoxie picked up where it left off in the first half, scoring with 36:36 left in regulation for the equalizer.
Fellow sophomore Daniel Zesati scored with an assist from senior Javier Trujillo and the Chieftains’ momentum continued to build.
Jacob Howell was able to make some stops on the defensive end, including a shot he knocked down and then just stopped from rolling past the goal line.
KCC, however, would score again at the 27:30 mark.
Tonganoxie had its chances again as the game progressed, but couldn’t punch in another goal.
“We started out slow, but then we started playing our game,” said Jon Orndorff, THS head coach. “We dominated.”
Orndorff knew KCC was a quality team, and he said Tonganoxie’s effort against the Prairie Village school was solid, which will “bode well” for the team as the season progresses.
Tonganoxie continued the season Tuesday on the road in Shawnee against Maranatha Christian Academy. That game took place after The Mirror’s print deadline.
The squad is back on the road Sept. 12 in the Frontier League opener at Paola.
The Chieftains are back home Sept. 17 against St. Mary’s Academy.