Goals come at scorching pace for LHS
Last year the Lansing High boys soccer team struggled to finish its scoring opportunities as it scored just 46 goals in 17 games, an average of less than three goals per game.
Finding the net hasn't been a problem this year, though, as the Lions have buried 15 goals in just three contests.
The extra scoring punch so far this season can be attributed to a number of factors. The Lions (2-1) have made crisper passes, made more aggressive runs at the goal and been more physically fit than their opponents. So far, nine different players have scored a goal this season, including four by senior Brad Mock.
Senior Ty Thackston has scored three goals this season and junior Andy Dick has two. Seniors Mike Bayless, Nolan Bohannon, Brandon Rimmey, Theo Daniels, junior Nate Markovetz and freshman Clayton Hall all have one apiece.
"Teams aren't trying to guard one guy," Thackston said. "They've got to look for five guys on the field (at a time)."
The other major reason for the Lions' early success on the offensive end has been that they are simply more familiar with each other. That comes from experience.
"Everyone up top has been playing together for a good four years, offseason, training together," Thackston said. "And, we're all real close friends. We all know where we're going to be and how we play, so it helps on the field."
Although the Lions have been a menace to opposing goalkeepers thus far, they haven't been perfect. They were shut out during their second game of the year, a 1-0 loss at Mill Valley on Thursday in a game where they outshot the Jaguars 12-5.
The Lions also have battled some early-season injuries, most notably an ankle injury to Bayless that forced him to miss the Mill Valley game. Bayless returned to the field and saw minimal action on Tuesday in a 10-0 victory against Tonganoxie.
LHS coach Randy Brown said that despite the injury to Bayless and the setback to Mill Valley, he thought his team was playing impressive soccer for this early in the season.
"We've got plenty of forwards that are willing to play and wanting to play," he said. "We've got enough depth. As long as people continue to stay healthy, (we should) be able to play and hit our stride and do what's got to be done."