Archive for Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Young EHS soccer team makes big strides in 2009

November 11, 2009

The Eudora soccer program took a giant step forward in 2009.

After suffering through a winless season in 2008, the Cardinals won three games and finished with a 3-13 record. The Cardinals, though, played very well at the end of the year. In fact, the Cardinals came together and played so well late in the year, they likely removed the stigma of being the worst team in the league and replaced that with being one of the toughest teams to play against.

“It was a long mountain when we stood at the bottom and looked up,” coach Gunar Harmon said. “We gave every effort to climb to the top, and we might have sat on the top for a while. It’s been a long season. It’s only been the last two games that we’ve been playing from in front.”

Eudora’s three wins tied the school record, and the Cardinals also won a playoff game in the opening round of regionals against Atchison-Maur Hill 3-2.

Eudora got its first win of the year in the league tournament against Baldwin 3-2 in September, and the win also snapped a 21-game losing streak that spanned three seasons. Eudora later topped K.C. Sumner 2-0 to end the midpoint of the season.

In the second half of the year, the Cardinals took shape and had a string of strong performances against league foes De Soto, Gardner and Louisburg. The Cardinals ended the regular season with a tough 3-1 loss at Perry, but were up for the rematch when the two teams met in the second round of the playoffs.

Eudora led 1-0 at the half and controlled much of the game. And the Cardinals had a 2-1 lead with 1:08 to play when Perry scored on a nearly impossible shot that sent the game into overtime.

The Cardinals battled through four overtimes and did not give in. And though Perry won the game on penalty kicks, the match was further proof that the Cardinals could play at a high level, that they had earned the respect of their opponents and showed there could be a bright future soon for Eudora soccer.

Harmon credited his senior class for the team’s turnaround and was looking forward to next year.

“I’ve had the players in the program for a couple years, and you’ve seen the turnaround,” Harmon said. “We can carry some momentum into next year. But every year it gets harder to replace seniors.”

Next year Eudora will lose seniors Matt Jump, Daniel Brauda, Dalton Hladky, John Chumbley, Paul Bryant, Kalen Wright, Ryan Pennington and Anja Bertheussen.

Jump was an All-State performer a season ago and played last summer overseas in the Gothia Cup. Brauda was a foreign exchange student from Germany who also gave the Cardinals a scoring threat in the middle.

“I think we got better this season, but there’s a lot to make better and to improve,” Brauda said. “But you can see it progressing, and that’s the first step.”

Jump said he looked for the team to take another step forward next year.

“I think next season they’ll do fine,” Jump said. “There are a lot of freshman, and as long as they keep playing over the offseason they’ll be fine next year.”

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