Lions drill Washington in regional semifinals
Lansing High's regional semifinal match against Washington wasn't supposed to be close, and it wasn't.
The Lions scored four first-half goals and allowed plenty of time for the reserves to play in their 8-0 thumping of Washington Tuesday night at LHS.
The Wildcats (5-11) didn't pose much threat to Lansing on the scoreboard, but the game was a challenge for other reasons. Primarily, tested the Lions' focus.
"The problem with these kinds of games is you know you're expected to win and you have to avoid looking forward to the next game," LHS coach Randy Brown. "You have to focus on this game because you still have to win it on the field."
Brown said his team never overlooked Washington, hence the lopsided result.
"We had to stay healthy, we had to pass the ball, we had to make sure everybody was playing good as a team and use it as a good practice scrimmage to get ready for Thursday," Brown said. "I think we did a good job of that."
Lansing (8-8) set the tempo early as it put pressure on the Washington goal from the opening kick and never allowed the Wildcats to develop any sort of offensive rhythm. Joey Sebes and Brad Mock each placed early shots on goal for Lansing a move that made it clear the Lions took this game seriously.
Mock scored the game-winner just seven minutes in when he blasted a shot over the Washington goalkeeper from 10 yards out off a great feed from Sebes. Chris Hancock bumped the lead to 2-0 eight minutes later when he tapped home a pass from Gabe Garza.
At that point the rout was on.
Sophomore Andy Dick scored off an assist from Ty Thackston and Chris Nelson added a penalty kick by halftime.
Junior Michael Bayless added three second-half goals and Alex Brettman scored on a header to round out the scoring.
Lansing out-shot Washington, 39-1 as goalkeepers Alex Burton and Kyle Harriss combined for the shutout.
Despite Lansing's all-around dominance, Brown admitted he wasn't sure how well the victory would help prepare his squad for it's regional final pairing Thursday at Blue Valley West. The Jaguars may be the best team in the state, so Brown said he would've preferred to have been tested by a more skilled opponent beforehand.
"That's the problem," Brown said. "The trade-off is now you're not playing against great skill and great speed, so the practice isn't quite as high-caliber as you want to have."
West (12-5) which whipped Turner 10-0 in its semifinal match certainly will be top-notch, and Brown is well aware of that.
"They've got two excellent offensive players. They're good. They're ranked No. 1 in the Metro area," he said. "They don't know us. We don't know them. We're going to go there and play the best we can. They've still gotta win it on the field."