Eudora loses in overtime, 3-2
The Eudora Cardinals went into Thursday's game against Paola coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Baldwin on Tuesday.
And as the game started, it seemed the disappointment had carried over as the Panthers took advantage of a slow start to beat the Cardinals 5-2.
The Cardinals spent a good portion of the opening fighting off the Panthers in their own end of the field.
The constant pressure of the Panthers and the tentative nature of Eudora going after the ball, resulted in three Paola goals by the 20-minute mark.
"We came out flat," head coach Erik Peltzman said. "I think the kids were a bit hesitant because Paola had such big kids."
The Cardinals did manage to turn things around as the half drew to a close. The backfield tightened up its defense, which allowed the once timid Cardinals to become aggressive and go on the offensive.
The result of that turnaround came with eight minutes to go in the first half, as Jacob Gillihan launched a shot from the right side of the box for the Cards' first goal.
"We played a lot better after that point in the first half," Peltzman said. "But we need to take that toughness and play it for 80 minutes."
The Cardinals played tough in the second half as well, but despite trading own goals with the Panthers, the slow start doomed Eudora.
On Tuesday, the Cardinals parlayed their second-half effort demonstrated against Paola to their closest match of the year. Eudora came within an overtime period of their first win of the season, but the Tonganoxie Chieftains fought off a late Eudora comeback to prevail 3-2 at Tonganoxie.
In a similar scenario to the Paola contest, the Cardinals found themselves down 2-0 early in the first half. Chieftain pressure kept sophomore goalkeeper Anthony Barta deflecting shots until finally Tongie found the back of the net.
But the difference in the first half of the game was the Cardinal toughness. Against Paola the squad came out flat and found itself in an insurmountable hole. This time despite the early goals, the effort was there.
"We played with 100-percent effort this time," Peltzman said. "We fought for every ball and their goals weren't easy goals."
As the second half unfolded, the Cardinals reversed their fortunes by taking the pressure to the Tonganoxie end of the field.
And like Paola on Thursday and the Chieftains in the first half, the Cardinals finally made it pay off.
Sophomore Connor Hartpence drilled a shot from the right side of the box to put Eudora on the board and down only a goal, 2-1.
The Cardinal pressure continued late into the half as the Chieftains found themselves unable to fend off the pesky visitors.
Finally late in the second half, the Cardinals tied the game on a Logan Hartpence tip-in off a corner kick.
The Eudora effort ended in a familiar fashion as Tonganoxie managed to sneak a corner kick past Barta in the sudden-death overtime period.
Despite the loss, the coach found reason to be optimistic.
"This was the best game we've played in a long time," Peltzman said. "But we need to start turning these games into wins."
The Cardinals (0-6) travel to Louisburg Thursday for a 4.p.m. match-up with the Wildcats.