Archive for Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cardinals turn quiet; lose pair and senior leader

September 14, 2006

It was an up hill fight for the Cardinals soccer team Monday after losing several battles.

Falling to Turner 3-1 and De Soto 3-0 last week, the Cards were down. Then came the news that team captain David Westerhouse had broken his leg in a weekend skateboarding accident and most likely would be out for the rest of the season, which deeply affected the team, coach Matt Higgins said.

The Cards went into their next game against an undefeated Baldwin with that weighing on their shoulders.

It showed.

The Cardinals lost their third-straight game by the largest margin of the season, falling to Baldwin, 6-0.

"The team took it hard that David was out," Higgins said. "This was our first game without him, so we have to learn to communicate without him being there. I was hoping the team would be able to rebound, but our mental game just never got back up."

Within 10 minutes of play, the combined might of Dustin Schiller and Chuery Fernando of Baldwin gave the Wildcats more than enough goals. After Eudora took a handful of failed shots, Tracey Weege sliced the ball from the right corner into the Cards' net. At the half, the score was 3-0.

The second period was not much friendlier to the Cards. Eudora drove the ball hard to the net several times, but none of the attempts connected before Baldwin racked up three more goals, bringing the game's final score to 6-0 Baldwin.

But one thing Higgins said the Cards did exceptionally well was keeping the ball in play and taking lots of shots, even though none of those shots struck home.

"We moved the ball around very well," Higgins said. "The offense looked great ? they took a lot of shots but they didn't go in. The scoreboard didn't reflect our hard work."

Higgins said Baldwin was able to dominate the Cards because it had a handful of extremely talented players who were able to instinctively control the ball around the field. He said those few players really gave Baldwin the edge Eudora just couldn't overcome.

Regardless of the loss, Higgins said center midfielder Erryn Kindle really stood out at the game on Monday and tried to fill the gap left by Westerhouse.

"He did everything he could to control the game," Higgins said. "He played both sides of the ball well, and he just wasn't getting tired."

In spite of the losing spell that has washed over the Cards, Higgins said the team's goal of winning nine games this season is still very much a possibility.

"Baldwin and Turner were undefeated and Gardner was doing very well," Higgins said. "Going into the season, we knew the first half would be really rough, but the second half should be a little lighter. We should be able to turn our season around next week."

The Cards' next game is against another team that too knows Baldwin's fury, Paola. Paola recently lost to Baldwin 5-0, so both teams are definitely going to be fighting hard for the win.

Regardless of how it turns out, Higgins said the Cards have a very good chance of winning and starting back on the road to nine wins.

"We still have a long season left, and we are in high spirits," Higgins said. "I'm confident we can make the needed changes and soon."

The team, 1-3-1, is set to play Paola at 4 p.m. Thursday in Paola.

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