Cardinals fall 4-1 in first home match
The Eudora soccer team kicked-off its season Saturday morning in Louisburg. Apparently there is more than just great cider in Louisburg -- there's a pretty good soccer team, too. The Cardinals fell 4-1.
"It was kind of one of those shaking-out-the-cobwebs games," head coach Erik Peltzman said.
Eudora had hoped Louisburg would be tangled in a web of its own. After all, it was playing in the program's first game ever. But Louisburg's talent and physicality superceded the relative inexperience.
Junior Bobby Linzer's unassisted goal accounted for the Cards' only score.
"On a real positive note they didn't give up," Peltzman said. "Last year against a team of that caliber we probably would have lost 10-0."
Another positive was the play of junior goalie Mark Shutt who amassed a remarkable 18 saves.
Eudora's next test came Monday afternoon against Paola.
The Paola match was historical on two fronts: It marked Eudora's first home game in its brief history, and it marked the first game ever for Paola's new program.
The Cardinals took the field in sharp new uniforms and in front of a strong crowd.
"I was really impressed," Peltzman said of the attendance. "The pressure was on to perform. We were a little nervous."
Again the Cards hoped to capitalize on the weaknesses of a new program. And again Eudora was disappointed. The Panthers defeated the Cardinals 4-1.
"We really stepped up with a lot of effort and showed a lot of heart," Peltzman said of his team. "We are just as good as they are, if not better. It's just part of the growing pains."
A huge discrepancy in shots-ongoal, poor communication and penalties were too much for Eudora to overcome.
A very questionable early Eudora penalty set up Paola's first goal. A Cardinal miscue deep in their own territory set up the Panthers' second.
Late in the first half, trailing 2-0, Eudora junior William Bock went down with a leg injury. Bock was down for quite a while before finally being helped off the field.
Unexpectedly, Bock returned in the second half.
"(Bock) was hurting pretty bad," Peltzman said. "That's the leadership I'm looking for. He's a strong player that gives his all, 110 percent in practice and 110 percent in games."
Despite the best efforts of Bock and his teammates, they could not overcome missed opportunities and another devastating penalty.
A penalty kick stretched the Panther lead to 3-0.
Eudora's only real highlight followed. Senior Michael Woodward noticed Paola's goalie playing far too high in the box. Woodward sailed the ball half the length of the soccer field, over the goalie's head and into the net. The goal pulled the Cards to within two at 3-1.
A failed penalty kick late in the match marked the final real scoring opportunity for Eudora.
In the waning moments another Cardinal miscue set up the game's final goal, and the Panthers escaped with a 4-1 victory.
Eudora remains winless against a varsity team in its brief history.
"It would be nice to get the kids a taste of victory," Peltzman said. "The kids want it...some so bad they literally left their hearts on the field."
The coach remains positive while taking the responsibility of the team's struggles on himself.
"By no means am I not proud," he said. "So many kids gave a great effort. I feel like I let them down not giving them enough information to succeed. But even if we lose every game, if in the end we all care about each other, we already win."
Peltzman and new assistant coach Bill DeWitt will have until Sept. 18 to regroup before playing host to Washington.