Tonganoxie High soccer notches 2-1 victory in wild match against Piper
Mason Khanthaboury found the net just in time Thursday for the Tognanoxie High soccer team.
The THS junior scored with 2.5 seconds left before halftime in a Frontier League clash against Piper at Beatty Field.
That goal, with a corner kick assist from fellow junior Grayson Sonntag, turned out to be huge for the Chieftains. Tonganoxie went on to win, 2-1, after a wild second half.
Tonganoxie had the 1-0 lead when Piper freshman Carlos Renteria lined up for a penalty kick and connected for the equalizer in the 53rd minute.
THS responded, though, in the 55th minute. Sonntag again had the corner kick. Senior captain Abel Mendoza then gave the ball a touch and THS had the lead again.
In the 62nd minute, Piper again had a penalty kick. The Pirates appeared to have tied the game up again with a PK, but the referees called a Piper field player for being in the box when the kick occurred.
The players lined up again for the free kick, but this time THS freshman goalie Jackson McWilliams made a big save and thwarted what would have been the tying goal on the second PK attempt. McWilliams then cleared the ball and the action moved toward the Piper goal. Tonganoxie appeared to have numbers and looked to have a chance at a goal of its own, but the wild sequence ended with no goals.
Officials called Tonganoxie for a red card and three yellow card, as THS senior captain Joseph Laundy received a red card with about 15 minutes left in the match. Sonntag, Mendoza and junior Daniel Zesati all had yellow cards.
Sonntag’s happened with about 15 seconds left in the match. A Piper player lined up for a kick after the yellow card, but the kick sailed up and left of even the north field goal post at Beatty Field and then time expired.
The victory moved Tonganoxie to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in Frontier League play. Piper fell to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in league play.
THS coach Jon Orndorff said he was proud of his team for digging down late in the game and preserving the victory, especially with being a player down with Laundy’s red card. With the call, the senior had to sit the rest of the match, so it was 11-on-10 for that last portion of the match.
He also said the victory would provide some good confidence for the team moving forward.
Tonganoxie gets road victory
THS also played Tuesday down the road on U.S. Highway 24 against St. Marys Academy in St. Marys. Zesati and Sonntag both scored goals for the Chieftains as they prevailed against the Crusaders, 2-1.
Quentin Vernado scored the goal for the SMA. The Crusaders are 3-4 on the season after a 3-1 victory Thursday against Christ Prep Academy.
Orndorff said the game against the Crusaders provided a bit of an adjustment because St. Marys Academy plays on a natural grass field. That can provide some unusual bounces and so forth compared to matches played on artificial turf, he said.
Thursday’s match against Piper kicks off a stretch of five straight home matches for the Chieftains. THS is at home again this coming Tuesday against Hayden and then Bonner Springs comes to town Thursday. Louisburg visits Sept. 29 and Topeka High on Oct. 5. All matches except the Topeka High match are set to start at 6:15 p.m. The match against the Trojans is slated for 6 p.m.
Tonganoxie is then back on the road for a 6:15 p.m. match Oct. 6 at Junction City.