Bobcats fall at Bishop Ward
Freshman picks up team-leading 7th goal
Basehor-Linwood lost at Bishop Ward 4-1 on Tuesday despite freshman Austin Knipp's team-leading seventh goal of the season and several spectacular saves by sophomore goalie Zach Lowe.
The Bobcats were 2-3 going into the game but were coming off one of their strongest performances of the year. They had beat Lansing on the road, 3-2, on the strength of two goals from Knipp and one from sophomore Chris Prgomet.
BLHS couldn't carry over any momentum from that game, though, as Bishop Ward jumped on them early, attacking relentlessly and keeping the ball in the Bobcats' end for most of the first half. Only several sprawling saves by Lowe, including one on a header from only five yards away, kept the game scoreless.
"I just tried to keep my head on the ball," said Lowe, who finished with 12 saves. "You have to watch for the ball at all times."
Late in the first half Bishop Ward came up with two goals on breakaways that not even Lowe could stop. There was some dispute about the first goal, as BLHS captain Jed Sides seemed to give up on the play, thinking the Bishop Ward forward was offside. The referee ruled the goal good, and at halftime BLHS was in a 2-0 hole.
The hole got even deeper in the second half, as Bishop Ward added two more goals. With a comfortable lead, the home team then retreated into a defensive shell, and the Bobcats were forced to take low-percentage shots from far out.
With 20 minutes left, though, Prgomet found a hole in the Bishop Ward defense and lifted a pass in front of the net. Knipp and the Bishop Ward goalie both ran to it, but Knipp got there a step ahead and flipped it over the goalie and into the net. Knipp said the team should be able to create more scoring chances like that one in the future.
"We just need to get it to the outside more and center it in," Knipp said.
Bishop Ward nearly answered with a goal of its own right after Knipp's, as one of its forwards slipped past the BLHS defense and had a clear path to the net. But Sides raced back to catch him from behind and bother his shot enough that Lowe could make an easy save.
Sides' play seemed to energize his teammates as they played with more intensity for the final 20 minutes than they had most of the game. Despite their hustle, though, the Bobcats couldn't create any good scoring chances. Coach Ken Couch said in the future the Bobcats would have to control the midfield more to be able to sustain an offensive attack.
Basehor-Linwood's next game is at 4 p.m Monday, Sept. 22 at home against Sumner Academy.