Early lead doesn’t hold for Cardinals
Despite scoring first and even managing to tie the contest in early in the second half, the Eudora High School soccer team suffered a 4-2 defeat against Gardner Edgerton Tuesday evening.
The Cardinals, however, put up a solid fight in the contest after being shut out, 4-0, when the two teams met in the season opener in August.
"At the very beginning of the season against this team, we tried to play the way we played today and we had too many defensive letdowns, so I tried to make it simple," Eudora soccer coach Gunar Harmon said. "They adapted to a much more advanced style of play and executed it very well."
Although Eudora has logged just one win so far this season, it has a solid opportunity to pick up another victory as the team travels to take on Spring Hill, a program in its first season of existence.
"Spring Hill is a first-year program," Harmon said. "We have to create opportunities and chances to score, then we will have a chance to have a successful outcome.
"That's the thing -- we have had a few chances and haven't taken the opportunity."
The two teams battled early as both seemed to get opportunities to score, but weren't able to come through to put goals on the board. It was Eudora, however, who was able to strike first.
Midway through the first half, Logan Hartpence broke free on the left side and decided to take a shot from well beyond the designated goalkeeper box. The left-footed kick began to bend to the right and managed to sneak its way into the upper left-hand corner of the goal to put the Cardinal in front, 1-0.
"They call that a 'wonder goal'," Harmon said of Hartpence's kick.
Playing with the lead, the Cardinals continued to battle, but two scores before the half gave the Trailblazers a 2-1 edge. It was apparent, though, that EHS was still very much in the contest, despite being behind.
Harmon said that the team is finally beginning to settle in with his style of play and it is paying off.
"We are still trying to get comfortable with where we are and how to play," he said. "The last couple of games, we played against teams that were very mobile and off the ball and ran around the field a lot and all we could do was chase them. We couldn't really generate any attack on them when we had the ball. So, we settled into a new system against a team that was very physical, very aggressive. We've just seen what people can do so we learned to draw back on defense and it worked really well to keep their attack to a minimum."
Following the break, the Cardinals were able to get back on the board, even though the actual scoreboard wasn't working, as Anthony Barta connected on a free kick just two minutes in to tie the score.
The tie was short-lived, however, as Gardner-Edgerton was able to punch in two more goals before the game's end to walk away with the victory. Despite the loss, Harmon was still pleased with the way his team played.
"They have done very well in terms of comprehending things, executing a game plan, creating chances, being able to tackle, being organized in the back," Harmon said. "I am very impressed with the way that we played. We are starting to understand the bigger picture of how the game is played."
The Cardinals next home game will be Oct. 11, when they play host to Southeast Kansas League opponent Pittsburg.