Eudora soccer goes out with a bang
Although the Eudora soccer team lost Tuesday in the regional tournament ending its season, it would be a mistake to say the team ended the season with a sour taste in its mouth.
Coach Matt Higgins said the 2006 season was filled with many benchmarks, including beating Kansas Highway 10 rival De Soto last week 3-2.
"That was our most proud accomplishment," Higgins said. "We played much better this season than any other in the past."
Higgins also said it was spectacular the team was able to make it to the second round of the tournament, something Eudora had never done before. The Cardinals outplayed and outran Tonganoxie in the first round, winning the game 5-2, marking their third win of the season.
Felipe Buchele flexed his muscles and racked up two points for the Cards.
With spirits high, the Cards entered the second round with confidence against Basehor. That energy was apparent in the first half of the game, as the Cards disallowed the 12-4-1 Bobcats any points. Eudora also maintained possession of the ball the majority of the time, and the defense was on its mark.
"We just passed the ball incredibly well," Higgins said. "You couldn't have asked for a better first half."
However, the second half was a startlingly different story.
Basehor player Austin Knipp stepped up and smacked the ball right past goalkeeper Anthony Barta just 30 seconds into the second half. That goal marked Knipp's 97th career point, assuring his record as the all-time high school soccer scorer in Kansas. Higgins said he knew Knipp would create some problems going into the game.
"We put a mark on Austin and covered him continually," Higgins said. "But he took Basehor on his shoulders. He wanted to get the record, so he stepped up his level of play. It was hard for us to get to that level."
Then, 30 seconds later, a pack of Bobcats rushed past the defenders and overwhelmed Barta. Stephen Millison made the scoring kick and brought the score to 2-0.
Then, things got ugly. Over the next 39 minutes, the Bobcats scored on the Cards four more times and did not give up any points. The game ended with Basehor moving onto the next round and Eudora turning in its equipment a little earlier than it had hoped.
Higgins said despite the loss, very few mistakes were made by the Cards in the final game of the season.
"Tonight wasn't about mistakes," Higgins said. "We played a great game, and we were just proud to be here. This was a great feeling."
Coach Paul Thevarajoo said despite the losing record, this season was the best in the program's history.
"We reached so many milestones," Thevarajoo said. "It was our winningest season. We had the most goals in a season. We had the most goals scored in a game this season and we won the first round of regionals.
"These are building blocks, so hopefully everything we accomplished this season will be the foundation for the future."