Archive for Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Tonganoxie High boys soccer grinds out tie with Bonner Springs

Tonganoxie High boys soccer starters before its game Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, against Hayden in Topeka. The Wildcats won, 3-2.

Tonganoxie High boys soccer starters before its game Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, against Hayden in Topeka. The Wildcats won, 3-2.

September 29, 2021

Tonganoxie High has played in some tight matches of late.

THS led Bonner Springs, 1-0, at halftime Thursday at BSHS, but Bonner scored two goals in the second half and had a 2-1 lead late. THS, though, got the equalizer with about a minute left in regulation, a score that eventually sent the match into overtime.

Neither team could score during the extra time, and Tonganoxie recorded its first tie of the season.

Gavin Shupe and Daniel Zesati had the two goals for Tonganoxie against Bonner Springs. Mason Khanthaboury and Brenan Kuzmic made the assists on the two goals. Meanwhile, goalie Jackson McWilliams made 17 saves for Tonganoxie.

The Chieftains moved to 5-3-1 overall and 2-1-1 in Frontier League play heading into this week’s action.

Tonganoxie had won three straight matches heading into play this past week, but the Chieftains fell on the road, 3-2, to Hayden in Topeka on Sept. 21 before getting the tie against Bonner Springs on Thursday.

“We’re actually sitting pretty good,” THS coach Michael Barnes said Monday. “Our problem right now is we’re running into injuries that are hurting us a little bit, but for the most part, the boys are dialed in. They’re focused.”

Lukas Perizek and Cole Kessler scored Tonganoxie’s two goals against Hayden, while Aiden Van Middelsworth and Kuzmic had the assists. McWilliams had 13 saves while giving up three goals against the Wildcats.

Through nine matches, Zesati and Parizek lead the team in goals with 10 each. Kuzmic has four, Shupe three, Van Middlesworth two and Trent Barnes, Wesley Johnson and Cole Kessler each have one apiece.

Kuzmic leads the team in assists with 10, while Zesati has five, Van Middelsworth four and Parizek, Johnson, McWilliams, Khanthaboury, Barnes and Mike Irwin each with one. Zesati is the team leader in shots (29) and shots on goal (13), while Kuzmic has 23 shots and seven shots on goal. Parizek also is one of the top team members in those categories with 18 shots and nine shots on goal.

McWilliams has 98 saves while allowing 15 goals. He also has a penalty kick save to his credit this season.

Barnes said THS has some tough matches coming up, but the team is getting gradually better.

“For the most part the tie and losses have been unfortunate situations instead of major situations,” he explained.

The Chieftains have had plenty of exciting moments so far this season, including in the second half of the match against Piper when THS was down, 4-2, with about 8 minutes left in regulation.

THS scored one goal late in the second half and then scored another about a minute and a half later.

“At that point it was a blood-in-the-water type thing,” Barnes said.

He said the Chieftains started that match off with some sloppy play, but they kept plugging away.

“Those boys had zero quit in them until the whistle blew,” Barnes said. “And that seriously showed you they played with a lot of heart and they were dead tired. They continued to work and work and work until the results came in.

“We had a really, really good student section and fans (overall) that night. The 12th man was really coming into play. That was really cool to see them get ramped up about it.”

Tonganoxie returned to Frontier League action Tuesday at Louisburg (5-3-1). The match occurred after The Mirror’s print deadline. THS finishes up a stretch of four straight road matches with another road contest Monday at Topeka High (3-3-1).

THS is back home the next day against Junction City (3-2).


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