Eudora keeps up hot streak, wins second game
After hanging tough Thursday against 5A powerhouse Ottawa, the Eudora Cardinals made it two out of three with a 2-1 overtime win Monday at Perry-Lecompton.
Sophomore Logan Hartpence capped a two-goal day just minutes into the overtime session, as he curled a corner kick from the right side into the Kaws' net.
The win gave the Cardinals two wins in the span of seven days after a season and a half of coming up empty.
However, the celebration at game's end couldn't have been more different than the atmosphere at the beginning of the contest.
The Cardinals (2-8) walked onto the field with a lethargic step, a far cry from the squad that captured its first win of the year and played a large school tough the week before.
"We are definitely not a Monday team," coach Erik Peltzman said. "We've proven that time and time again. I thought giving them some time off over the weekend would help. But at the beginning we weren't playing like we normally play."
The Kaws took full advantage of the Cards' lack of aggressiveness by throwing an immediate punch of their own early in the contest.
Barely five minutes into the game, Perry sophomore Kory Roberts slipped the ball past sophomore goalkeeper Anthony Barta in the midst of heavy traffic for a quick 1-0 lead.
Eudora seemed unable to respond for most of the first half as the forwards and midfielders were slow to converge on balls, allowing the Kaws to control the game.
But as the first half wound down, Hartpence stepped up to inject some much-needed life into the scuffling squad.
After Eudora had gained a little momentum by keeping the ball in Kaw territory, Hartpence took advantage of some Perry miscommunication by sneaking the ball past keeper Nick Morris for a 1-1 tie.
"When we scored that switched the momentum for us," Peltzman said. "We really started playing better after that."
The Cardinals took the momentum of Hartpence's first goal and carried it into the second half.
Eudora tightened up the defense with the help of senior Lance Wilcoxson and sophomore Cody Hickok, who deflated the few scoring opportunities presented to the Kaws in the second half.
The Cardinals put pressure on Perry-Lecompton throughout the half, but were unable to get the go-ahead goal. But the defensive stops and offensive pressure allowed the game to move into the extra period.
"I was really happy with the second half," Peltzman said. "I was happy with the performances and the outcome there."
The Cards regrouped for the start of the overtime period and came out with an aggressive game plan from the very beginning, a far cry from the slow moving, timid experience of the first half.
"We wanted to win," Peltzman said. "They came out with a plan to not turn the ball over to them and to end it right here. And they stuck to that plan very aggressively."
The aggressive attitude led to even more pressure on the Kaw backfield and the eventual corner kick by Hartpence that ended the game and gave Eudora its second win of the year.
On Thursday the Cardinals hung tough with Ottawa for the entire game, eventually falling 3-1.
In a year that had been full of losses that could be considered moral victories, this may be another example.
A year ago the Cyclones embarrassed the team by putting in 11 goals in the first half, highlighting the fact that the Cardinals were a budding program and not ready to play against the big boys.
This year the squad held Ottawa to just one goal in the first half.
"We played Ottawa well," Peltzman said. "We were on the sidelines during that game after halftime only down one, feeling that we could win this game. And with the outcome that we had, it's really going to help us out. Especially against the teams that are more at our level, like Baldwin and Seabury."