Eudora happy to hang with De Soto
Eudora soccer coach Erik Peltzman woke up last Thursday morning before his team's game against De Soto with a premonition.
"I woke up thinking we were going to beat them," he said.
Peltzman was wrong. Eudora fell, 6-1, but for the first time in the short history of the match up, falling didn't include falling apart.
Despite trailing 5-0 after the first half, Eudora fought hard and played De Soto to a 1-1 tie in the second.
Junior Erryn Kindle scored the program's first-ever goal against the Wildcats on a penalty kick halfway through the second half. While it was just one goal, it was huge, Peltzman said.
"The kids came up to me and said, 'That's it coach. We scored a goal. The monkey's off our back,'" he said. "That mentality set the tone."
In the second half, the tone the goal brought was aggressiveness. De Soto came out in the first brandishing a rough style of play that immediately soured Eudora's spirit.
CJ Garrett gave De Soto the 1-0 lead after a sluggish first five minutes and four more De Soto balls followed before halftime brought a stop in the action.
"The first half, our keeper had a bad day," Peltzman said. "We gave up three quick goals and that kind of hurt the moral. The ref was letting them play and they were playing pretty tough. They got shocked a little bit."
An aggressive approach in the second changed all that, however."
De Soto scored again early in the second, but afterward it was a hard fought draw. Jacob Gillihan missed two opportunities to cut the deficit, but Kindle finally found success on a penalty.
Eerily similar to a penalty kick last year that went in only to be called off after a direct kick-indirect kick misunderstanding, Kindle's shot flew over four De Soto defenders.
Wildcat goalie Jake Sosna jumped, but the ball flew between his hands and into the back of the net.
Unlike the disappointment of 2004, this one counted.
"Erryn Kindle, probably one of our more skilled players," Peltzman said. "Beautiful kick. Perfect. I couldn't ask him for better."
While the loss wasn't what anyone wanted, Eudora was able to take plenty from it.
Simply hanging with a team that typically blows the out was an encouraging step for Peltzman.
Eudora played good for the first five minutes of the first half and the whole 40 minutes of the second. That's not acceptable Peltzman said, but given his team's depth and experience, it's something worth noting.
"We have five or six things we're going to work on and tighten up, and when we do that, we're going to be a team to compete with," he said. "We're still growing, we're still going and I'm proud of them. I'd like a win, but to see progress like that today, that's a huge victory for us."
Now the Cardinals seek a real victory, and they could find one in the coming games.
Eudora is back in action Thursday at Turner and again on Monday at home versus Baldwin City, a team playing in its first season.
"The kids, I've been pushing them pretty hard and we're going to have to be quicker," Peltzman said. "We're going to play a team a lot tougher. I could see that in the second half. Momentum is what we're looking to carry. These next games could be our momentum."