Goal! Soccer team scores first varsity win
The Eudora High School soccer team ended a season and a half of frustration Tuesday with its first-ever varsity win.
Coach Erik Peltzman said the team's realization of the victory in the waning seconds of the 2-1 win over Wyandotte was a "magical moment."
"The kids were hugging each other, crying and shouting," he said. "We left our hearts on the field. There were 12 hearts beating on that field."
Eudora led the game throughout, getting a first-half goal from Tyler Hartpence and a second-half score from Andy Coffman before Wyandotte broke through for its only goal.
The play of goalie Mark Shutt was huge. He recorded 25 saves in the game. Eudora won with just 15 shots on goal.
But Peltzman said the victory was a result of one thing.
"Communication," he said. "We really communicated well as a team.
"The seniors really stepped it up. Senior Michael Woodward didn't have a goal or an assist, but he was right where he needed to be the whole game."
The coach said he had a sense the team was ready to break through during recent practices.
"We had a great practice Monday, and that rolled right over to the game," he said. "I'm improving as a coach -- in knowing where players need to be. We're all learning together."
After Tuesday's game, a referee who also worked the season-opener against Louisburg, commented on the team's improvement, Peltzman said.
"He said, 'Coach, you had a great game. You're team hustled and passed well. You played like a soccer team,'" he said.
Peltzman said he shared the comments with the team as a way to challenge the players to continue to improve. With the first win, the team now has to record its first winning streak.
"I told the team if we win three in a row, they can die my hair, shave me bald, do anything they want," he said. "I think now that we've broken through, they see what's possible. We're pretty busy in October. I think there are some more wins out there."
The next opportunity for the 1-4 Cardinals is a Monday home match against Louisburg, which handed Eudora its first loss of the season.
Peltzman said this was Louisburg's first year of high school soccer, but the team's core has played together in the competitive Premier League.
"They're big. They know what they're doing," he said. "We have an opportunity to turn things around from the first games if we do the same things we did Tuesday and continue to improve."