Lady ‘Cats kick off soccer season
As the Basehor-Linwood girls' soccer team begins its season, head coach Ken Couch sees what he calls a competitive team.
And that's what Couch expects from his team, for them to be competitive. He sees a team that should experience success beyond last year's team, he said.
"The girls are more excited," Couch said. "They're playing well together early in the season, and they are working hard. They've already conditioned double that of last year's team. Some of the girls did some preconditioning before the season even started."
All their work will lead to improvement, Couch's main goal.
Last year was a learning experience for the Basehor-Linwood girls' soccer team. The Bobcats struggled to a 4-12 record.
Couch is not one for predictions, but he did predict an improvement over last year.
"We'll beat last year without a problem," Couch said. "We'll be very competitive. If we go out there and do what we need to do, anything is possible.
"Of course, if they don't play together, we'll be 4-12 again."
One aspect Couch likes about the team is its attitude. He said the team is positive and the players want to learn.
"They're trying to do what I'm saying," Couch said. "They are receptive to what I'm trying to teach. They're listening and they want to learn. They're asking questions, which is great because it shows they care and are actively trying to improve themselves."
Couch said the strength of the team will come from the junior class with some help from seniors. Juniors dominate the starting lineup.
At this point, the lineup is not set in stone, but some of the starting spots have been determined.
Junior Sarah Couch will be one of the leaders. She will be a midfielder, and her coach and father said she is a vocal leader. Sophomore Danielle Bray could join her in the midfield.
The Bobcats will have five defenders. Seniors Andrea Gaydess and Melissa Tanner and juniors Blaine Buck and Amy Williams will likely have defensive duties.
Right now, juniors Jamie Palmer and Elisha King have the nod at the forward position.
Senior Lindsay Cunningham will be the Bobcats' goalie. Couch said Cunningham was good in the field but was playing in the goal for the team.
Couch said many other players including junior Ashle Odle and sophomore Audra Pierce were competing for playing time and starting roles.
Lady 'Cats drop first game
The Lady 'Cats kicked off their season earlier this week with a loss to Kansas City Christian.
Kansas City Christian outlasted the Bobcats in the first round of the Northeast Kansas Tournament, 4-1, Monday, Mar. 31.
While this was Basehor-Linwood's first game, the game was Kansas City Christian's fourth. Couch said the team could take a lot from the season opener.
"The girls came out looking well," Couch said. "For the first 15 minutes, we were right with them, then they slipped two goals in on us toward the end of the half."
The half ended with a 2-0 deficit for Basehor-Linwood, but Couch said his team did not quit.
In the second half, Sarah Couch cut the deficit in half scoring on a penalty kick. The score remained 2-1 for most of the second half until Kansas City Christian again scored to goals near the end of regulation.
"We were holding close until the end of the game," Couch said. "We were in it, but they are a good team.
"I thought the game should have been closer, maybe 2-1," he said. "They didn't overwhelm us in any aspect of the game. We can play with this team. We took some good shots and had their goalie diving. It's just their shots went in, and ours didn't."
Wednesday, April 2, the Bobcats played in the second round against Maranatha Academy. Results were not ready by press time, but before the game, Couch said he like his team's chances.
"We're excited to play Maranatha," Couch said. "The girls are hustling and working hard. We're playing at home and if we play to our potential, we should win."