Lions beat Piper, close in on league crown
Thursday night was Senior Night for the Lansing High boys soccer team, but the Lions didn't spend much time dwelling on the sentimental aspects of the evening.
Instead, they cruised through the pre-game recognition ceremony and got right down to business: beating Piper and remaining in the hunt for the Kaw Valley League championship.
Lansing 3, Piper 0.
"It was a big win since they were close to the top (of the league), too, with only one tie," senior midfielder Mike Bayless said.
LHS (13-2 overall, 6-1 KVL) entered the game tied with Mill Valley and Bonner Springs for first place in the league with just one loss. Piper (9-5-1, 4-2-1) came in just a half-game back, though, after picking up a tie against Immaculata. Lansing needed to win in order to stay in contention for an outright title, a co-championship or a tri-championship.
The Lions wasted little time seizing control of the contest. They created a few early scoring opportunities before senior Brad Mock corralled a pass from senior Brandon Rimmey and buried a shot in the eighth minute. Then, as has often been the case for the Lions this season, once one goal was scored, the offense kept rolling. Senior Ty Thackston added an unassisted goal in the 24th minute that pushed the Lansing lead to 2-0.
"It just fueled everyone and we started moving the ball a lot better," Bayless said of the early strikes.
Piper (9-5-1, 4-2-1) picked up the intensity in the second half and had a few breakaways, but each time Josh Robinson, Steve Parker and Nate Markovetz were there to stifle the attack and give the ball back to the Lansing offense. Junior goalkeeper Alex Burton logged his seventh shutout of the year.
LHS junior forward Andy Dick added an insurance goal in the 68th minute when he fired a blast from 18 yards out that deflected off a Piper defender and into the net.
Lansing will close out the regular season at 6 p.m. Thuesday when it plays host to winless Perry-Lecompton in the final league game of the year. Although the Kaws are 0-13, Bayless said the Lions know they can't overlook them.
"We've just got to make sure we don't come out too confident," he said. "We've just got to play our game."
JV PICKS UP 12TH SHUTOUT
The Lansing High junior varsity boys soccer team ran its winning streak to seven games when it beat Piper, 1-0, on Tuesday afternoon at Lansing Middle School.
The Lions (14-1) played stifling defense all game, but the Pirates matched the intensity. Sophomore Ben Hancock scored the game's only goal.
The JV Lions close out their season at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when they play host to Perry-Lecompton.