Soccer team pushes toward regionals
If being close counted for something in soccer, the Cardinal soccer team would be rolling in success.
In what was possibly one of the closest games of the season, the Cards lost to Louisburg 5-4 Tuesday evening, with Louisburg assuring its victory with just minutes left in the game.
Eudora coach Matt Higgins said although the team was disappointed with the loss, it was proud of sticking with Louisburg.
"I've never coached a team that came from a 3-0 deficit and then tied it up," Higgins said. "They took a team to the wires that was supposed to dominate them."
Erryn Kindle said Louisburg started racking up frustration fouls during the game, which allowed him to sink two penalty shots. The first shot bounced off the top crossbar and into the net, and the second shot breezed by the goalkeeper's head.
With seconds left in the first half and with the Cards trailing 3-1, Isaac Welsh passed the ball to an open Felipe Buchele. Stopping about 10 yards from the net, Buchele smashed the ball past the goalkeeper and brought the score to 3-3.
In the second half, Kindle made a one-touch goal, as the ball slipped by the goalkeeper.
"I didn't do anything different," Kindle said. "We've been working on two-touch passing, so we were in control better. Things just happened to go my way."
The score stayed at 4-4 for the remainder of the game, until Louisburg made the game-deciding shot with several minutes in the game remaining.
It was one of Kindle's best games ever, but he almost didn't even play. Minutes before the game started, Kindle slipped on the wet grass and fell on his tail bone.
"He was apprehensive about playing, but as soon as he started, it loosened up," Higgins said. "He had the best game of his life."
With inches of rain having been dumped during the day, the field was like a watery swamp, making it difficult for the Cards to navigate. But Higgins said the Cards have trained extensively in the rain and studied how the ball bounces when it is wet outside.
"The practices in the elements really made us prepared for it," Higgins said. "Louisburg tried to go for some long goals, but the grass made it bounce around. We were ready for it."
In all, Higgins said the Louisburg game was but a practice for the final regular season game of the year against Kansas Highway 10 rival De Soto at 4 p.m. Thursday at home. The Cards played De Soto early in September and lost 3-0, but did not get manhandled as they had in previous years. Higgins said the team was very much looking forward to making that game be the second win of the season.
"De Soto has a good team, and they are going to come out hot," Higgins said. "We're not scared, but we are excited, and we will play hard against them. We want to use this game to judge our growth from the year."
Higgins said the team would be working on some basics prior to the game, such as maintaining possession and then finishing plays.
The De Soto game also marks the 2006 soccer team's senior night, which Higgins said was sure to produce an intense amount of emotion on the field for the 11 graduating seniors.
"It's going to create more emotion on the field," Higgins said. "It's the last time for some of them to play on the field as a Cardinal, and it's the last time to play a team they really respect."