Comfortable in the win column
Hard-fought week produces BLHS soccer team’s second win of the season
The Bobcats soccer team picked up its second win of the season Tuesday night against Bishop Ward, winning 4-0.
Junior Austin Knipp picked up a hat trick in the win, scoring all three of his goals in the first half. Sophomore Stephen Millison scored the only goal of the second half off a penalty kick. Knipp had a chip on his shoulder from the Bobcats' loss the night before against St. Joseph Benton and Bishop Ward was the unfortunate recipient of Knipp's wrath.
"Austin just had a phenomenal game," coach Kevin Vincent said. "He really set the tone for the rest of the team. He took the loss very personal last night and he was ready to play today. I could tell by the look on his face that he was ready to go."
The win improved the team's record to 2-4.
A night earlier, it did not take long for Basehor-Linwood to get on the scoreboard against St. Joseph Benton. Forty-six seconds into the game Knipp buried his seventh goal of the season into the side of the net off a cross from Millison.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Knipp's goal would be their lone goal of the night as they dropped to 1-4 with the 2-1 loss.
"It's a rough loss," coach Kevin Vincent said. "It's hard to play that well, especially score in the first 46 seconds and to not come away with a win."
The Bobcats opened the game strong. Vincent felt his team dominated the first five minutes of the game, something he always stresses to his players. But the team's intensity dropped off after that and Vincent let them know about it.
"We didn't play to the intensity that we're capable of," Vincent said. "They're a great team, no doubt. We didn't take them lightly but we thought we could get a victory and we didn't play up to our capabilities."
St. Joseph Benton was able to tie the game up with 21:15 left in the first half off a break away goal that just surpassed the reach of senior goalkeeper Zack Lowe. Lowe's play in net kept the Bobcats in the game. He had several key saves and was able to reverse the field with his ability to punt the ball almost the length of the field.
"Luckily we have Zack Lowe as our keeper," Vincent said. "He's just phenomenal. He put the ball, even into the wind, three-quarters of the field. That's an ace. That gives us such an advantage on other teams."
Lowe received some help in front of him from the Bobcat defense. The Bobcat defense was playing shorthanded with their best defender, sophomore sweeper Sam Seaman, battling pneumonia. Seaman played limited minutes but freshman Mitch Mallon made his varsity debut in place of Seaman and Vincent was pleased with his performance.
"Our defense was real solid tonight," Vincent said. "They played them tight, not letting them turn and we were winning balls in the air. It's nice to see some of things we work on in practice actually getting done in the game."
St. Joseph Benton took the lead in the second half with 26:28 left and the Bobcats were never able to capitalize on numerous shots on goal the rest of the way. Basehor-Linwood played at a frenzied pace in the final two minutes trying to tie the game. Knipp was inches away from sending the game into overtime but his shot ricocheted off the post instead.
Vincent wants his team to display the same desire it showed in the final two minutes Monday night for 80 minutes each and every night.
"I told the guys in the last two minutes we played with the kind of intensity we need to play with the entire game," Vincent said. "Sometimes we have a tendency, when we get an early goal, to lay back and think that it's in the bag and that's not the case.
"I keep telling them that they need to go for the kill, stick the dagger in and finish the game."