Lions beat Blazers, collect second straight shutout
Cordes nets two goals in winning effort
There was no lock on the Gardner-Edgerton goal Tuesday night, but it was difficult to tell during the first half.
The Lansing High girls soccer team struggled to put shots away during the first half, but an explosive second half performance gave the Lions a 4-0 victory in non-league action at Lansing Middle School.
The Lions asserted control from the very beginning as they fired three shots in the first 3 minutes, 4 seconds. The third of those shots came from junior midfielder Bianca Manago when she dribbled down the right sideline, cut back along the end line, blew past a defender and fired a shot that banked off the goalkeeper and into the net.
Manago's goal gave Lansing a 1-0 lead early, but additional scoring was tough to come by. The Lions took 17 shots in the first half - eight of them on target - but were unable to convert again before intermission.
"We just need to work on shooting techniques," LHS coach Rob Elkins said. "It's a breakdown in technique."
Said Manago: "We just really weren't in our rhythm yet."
The frustration of numerous missed scoring opportunities during the first half disappeared during the opening seconds of the second half. LHS netted its second goal of the game just 26 seconds into the half when Kayla Pina slipped a pass to Christine Cordes. Cordes fired a shot that clipped off the post, but she followed her shot and scored on the second-chance opportunity.
"It showed us we could breathe again," Manago said of Cordes' quick goal. "We were kind of disappointed with the 1-0 (lead at halftime) because we'd heard how other teams did against this team. We were like 'All right, let's bring it.' And as you could see with the reaction, it was just very uplifting."
Eleven minutes later, Cordes struck again. Manago logged the assist on the goal when she made a shake-and-bake move through the defense and flicked a pass to Cordes right in front of the goal. Cordes gathered the ball and chipped it over the keeper to push the lead to 3-0.
The lead almost grew in the 64th minute when Rachel Pride took the ball away from the goalkeeper and tapped it home. Although it appeared the goalkeeper may not have had possession of the ball, the field official ruled she did and whistled Pride for a foul instead.
Although that goal was taken off the board, the Lions got it back four minutes later when senior Katie McKee gathered the ball on an in-box scramble and buried it for her first goal of the season. That put the game out of reach.
Although the offense claimed the spotlight Tuesday, plenty of credit should go to Lansing's defense. After having numerous breakdowns during the past two weeks, the defense looked strong all game against Gardner. Senior Lindsay Parks and juniors Elizabeth Cristiano, Abby Hauver and Michaela Bristow functioned as a fluid unit and never allowed Gardner to attempt a shot. That made goalkeeper Katie Nietzke's job easy as she logged her second straight shutout and third of the season.
"We went in with some confidence and I think that helped us play to our fullest potential," Hauver said.
Lansing will try to build on the momentum of two straight victories when it takes on Kansas City Christian at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in a Northeast Kansas Soccer League showdown.
SCHULTZ, LYON PROPEL LANSING JV TO VICTORY
The Lansing High junior varsity girls soccer team used a goal by junior Heidi Schultz and some last-minute heroics from junior goalkeeper Mary Lyon to beat Gardner-Edgerton, 1-0, Tuesday at Lansing Middle School.
The Lions and Blazers battled through a scoreless first half where the Lions had a number of scoring opportunities but were unable to convert. They continued to persevere, however, and that perseverance paid off as Schultz attacked the goal and buried a shot six minutes into the second half that put the Lions on top, 1-0.
The lead stood - but just barely. Lansing was whistled for a foul in the box during the final minute. Gardner was awarded a penalty kick, but Lyon came up with the save with 20 seconds left in the game. Lyon's save preserved the victory.