Archive for Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cardinals pick up first win against former coach, Paola

September 20, 2007

With a full slate of games scheduled, the Eudora High School soccer team got an unexpected breather Tuesday evening as the scheduled game against Tonganoxie was postponed because of weather.

Of course, the break came exactly when the Cardinals were trying to build momentum, not when they were looking for the extra time. After struggling through four straight losses, Eudora finally notched its first win of the season Thursday with a 4-1 win over Paola.

The win also came with a little more emotion as well as Eudora was facing a Paola team led by former coach Matt Higgins.

"They played well," Eudora soccer coach Gunar Harmon said. "There was a lot of emotional attachment to that game because of the Paola coach, Coach Higgins, the coach from last year. We played a decent game. We scored the ball. I was quite happy with it."

Things didn't seem to let up on the Cardinals, though as they suffered yet another loss in a 7-1 setback to Ottawa Monday afternoon.

"They were a good, fit, athletic team with a good first touch," Harmon said of the Cyclones. "They came out of the tackle really well, meaning once they won the ball, they made a solid first pass to set up their counterattacks. That shows experience.

"We had good effort. We had a good game plan. They were just the better team."

Harmon said that while the game was close at one point, a looming busy week led him to bench some of of his front line starters and give fresh players a chance to get in the game once the deficit increased.

"We had it at 2-1 at one point," Harmon said. "We gave up a couple of goals -- one on a penalty kick -- and then it was 4-1. We came out at halftime and tried to get another goal. That didn't materialize.

"It wasn't that we stopped playing, but we were just looking forward and started putting in some players."

Harmon said he was a little disappointed in Tuesday's game being called. He felt as though it was a game his team was looking forward to playing. Instead, the Cardinals will have to wait for the rescheduled game, set for 6 p.m. Oct. 4 in Tonganoxie.

"This time of year, it's tough when you are trying to get in games," Harmon said. "We had three games scheduled for this week."

At this point in the season, though, Harmon said his players are finally starting to get a little more comfortable with the game. This, in turn, has led to the team becoming more consistent.

"The first 11 are starting to play their positions," Harmon said. "The players are becoming more comfortable because of that. It's just going to become progress. When you are playing, you get one practice and then you play a game. Then you practice and you play a game. It's difficult to make great strides in improvement.

"We've got to flush out a couple of ideas. Basically, I think they are starting to understand the game plan we are trying to achieve. I am more familiar with the players now."

As for the upcoming schedule, Eudora will see a couple of new opponents mixed in with familiar ones. In fact, four of the next nine opponents are teams that it already faced this season.

The schedule will also include a pair of contests against Louisburg.

"There are a couple of games that we still have a couple of questions about our opponents," Harmon said. "We are going to get plenty of opportunity."

The one thing Harmon he is still stressing to his players is that they still have the opportunity to go out and win games, despite the fact EHS has lost to many of the teams still on the schedule.

"That is the thing with soccer -- anybody can win on any given day," Harmon said. "If you get an opportunity to shoot a goal, then you have to make the most of your opportunities.

"We are getting shots on goal. It isn't as if the goalkeeper is reading a magazine the whole time. We just have to finish some of them."

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