Eudora adjusts to leader’s absence
Things were on the up and up for the Cardinal soccer team Tuesday.
After ending the first half tied at 1-1 against Tonganoxie, Isaac Welsh snaked through the defense and kicked the ball into the net without too much interference from the goalkeeper. The score stayed 2-1 until, with just minutes remaining in the half, a Tonganoxie forward head-butted the ball past Cardinal goalkeeper Chad Haag, tying the score up.
And 2-2 was where the game would remain after two overtime periods were played, producing no goals by either team.
But the Tonganoxie tie came one day after a 5-1 loss to Ottawa.
Coach Matt Higgins said despite the rough schedule and the exhaustion that produces, the team performed admirably.
"We were evenly matched," Higgins said. "But we did possess the ball much more than they did, and we took about 15 more shots, but they just didn't go in."
In addition to being tired, the Cards also had some trouble overcoming another obstacle this week. With forward David Westerhouse out for the season with a broken leg, a few positions had to be changed. Usual starting goalkeeper Anthony Barta has been filling in as the starting forward, and Haag has stepped in to fill Barta's shoes guarding the goal.
Higgins said although there were a lot of aspects about Westerhouse that could not be replaced, everyone was stepping up and doing their best.
"We're learning to play without him, but we are missing his verbal skills, his speed and size -- he was their leader," Higgins said. "We put Anthony as a forward to get some more speed up there, and Chad has a good boot and size."
At the Monday game against Ottawa, the Cards held their own in the first half, but in the second half, the ball just kept slipping by the defenders and goalkeeper. Higgins said the team tried a new formation that worked well in the first half, but it didn't stick in the second half.
The defensive woes seemed to be absent Tuesday. Haag was on his mark and quickly booted the ball away when he caught it, and the defenders did an effective job of not letting Haag see too much action.
In addition to the forwards taking a plethora of shots at the Tongie goal, Higgins said the midfielders were also doing a good job with their position.
"Erryn Kindle and the midfielders were all over the field and looked good," Higgins said. "They were able to keep possession of the ball and control the game. Even though we maintained the ball most of the time, they just had some really strong defenders that didn't let too much past them."
The Cards play again 4 p.m. Thursday at home against Louisburg. The team will finally wrap up its four-game home stand with a Tuesday showdown against Gardner.