Archive for Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Lions drill Bonner in overtime

Mock nails game-winner as LHS wins season-opener

August 31, 2005

— About 10 minutes after the Lansing High boys soccer team's first game of the season, the smile still hadn't left senior Brad Mock's face.

His heart was still racing from the adrenaline rush he got from scoring the game-winning goal three minutes into overtime that gave the Lions a 5-4 victory in an emotional season-opening contest.

"It felt great," Mock said. "I didn't have too great of a game overall, and I was kind of upset that I didn't have a goal in regulation, but it paid off in the end."

Although Mock was happy to provide the heroics, he said the game never should have gone to overtime. After all, the Lions led 4-2 midway through the second half before allowing the Braves to rally.

Junior forward Andy Dick, the Lions' leading scorer in 2004, put LHS on top just two minutes into the game when he scored off a pass from senior midfielder Mike Bayless. Bonner tied the game eight minutes later on a goal by Jon Baxter, but Bayless put the Lions back on top just before halftime when he hammered home an unassisted goal.

Senior Ty Thackston pushed the lead to 3-1 five minutes into the second half before Baxter scored his second goal of the game.

An unassisted goal by Nolan Bohannon eight minutes later gave the Lions a 4-2 lead before things began to unravel. Baxter scored his third goal of the game in the 60th minute, and the Braves then tied the game four minutes later on a penalty kick and tied the game.

"The tendency with this team is whenever we get up early we tend to slack off and then we start losing points," Mock said. "Then they start getting them in on us and we have to start fighting back. That's usually what happens."

Thackston and Alex Brettmann both had chances to end the game in regulation, but they were unable to score from close range.

Although the Lions were unable to score late in regulation, they refocused and reenergized during the five-minute break before overtime. They went on the offensive from the opening kick in the extra stanza, and that aggressiveness paid off.

"We all know that's the time to play the hardest," Mock said of the extra period.

Bohannon raced up the left sideline and crossed a pass to Mock who was sprinting down the middle of the field. Mock corralled the ball about 18 yards out, took one dribble and buried it home.

Lansing coach Randy Brown was thrilled with his squad's effort and resiliency in its first game.

"That's the kind of game we want to have for our first game," Brown said. "We want to have adversity. We want to play against a good team, which is what they obviously were. They already had a game under their belt and they were prepared to play, and that's what we wanted to play. I'm just ecstatic, and of course it's a lot easier to be ecstatic when you win the game."

The Lions don't have much time to rest. They next play at 4 p.m. Thursday at Mill Valley. Even though they battled through the heat and overtime, Brown said he thought his players would handle the short rest period just fine.

"Especially when you play an overtime game, a lot of exertion has been happening, and now we've got to turn around and play again," Brown said. "Hopefully with the conditioning that we have we'll be able to turn around and it won't be a problem."

Lansing JV 2, Bonner Springs 0

The Lansing High junior varsity soccer team dominated its match against Bonner Springs, but for much of the contest the Lions struggled to find the back of the net.

LHS struck twice in the first 10 minutes but went cold the rest of the way. The lead held up, though, and the Lions prevailed 2-0 in their first game of the season.

Lansing struck quickly in the first half in the most unusual of ways. Junior Nate Markovets stepped back to attempt a throw-in from about 30 yards away from the goal. He fired his throw toward the goal when teammate Ben Hancock leaped in front of the Braves' goalkeeper, obstructing his view. Markovets' throw soared past the keeper and just inside the far post for a goal.

Moments later, junior Tylor McNeill followed a deflection of the Bonner keeper and buried a goal from five yards out. After that, the Lions had numerous other chances to score - a few apiece for Chance Thackston and Matt Sittenauer, among others - but the Lions were unable to score.

Junior Jarred McLaurin earned the shutout in goal after making three big saves in the second half.

The Lions next play at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Mill Valley.

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