Archive for Friday, May 5, 2006

Lions find scoring touch against Raiders

Pride nets two goals, Cordes, Elkins, Swisher each score one as LHS romps

May 5, 2006

Now that's more like it.

Three days removed from a 0-0 tie with Ottawa, the Lansing High girls soccer team eradicated its goal-scoring demons with a 5-0 victory against Immaculata on Thursday afternoon at Lansing Middle School.

Lansing High sophomore forward Rachel Pride breaks away from the Immaculata on her way toward the goal.

Lansing High sophomore forward Rachel Pride breaks away from the Immaculata on her way toward the goal.

Lansing went through the full regulation period and two overtimes without a goal Monday against Ottawa despite attempting 32 shots. The number of misfires caught LHS coach Rob Elkins' attention, so the Lions took steps to make sure they would be better prepared when scoring opportunities arose in the future.

"We worked on finishing," he said. "We worked on improving technique and recognizing when you have a shot opportunity and when it's not a shot."

There were plenty of shot opportunities Thursday against Immaculata. In all, Lansing fired 28 shots - almost all of them on target - and put five in the back of the net.

"It's something we've worked on more intensively in the last couple of practices, because we're doing a lot of things right," LHS coach Rob Elkins said. "The score wasn't reflecting what we've been doing."

The Lions (8-4-2 overall, 7-2 Northeast Kansas Soccer League) established themselves as the aggressors early in the game. Sophomore forward Rachel Pride scored what proved to be the game-winner just nine minutes into the contest when she received a pass from sophomore Christine Cordes, took two dribbles and fired a shot from 12 yards out. Pride's shot hit Immac goalkeeper Jessica Todd in the hands and deflected inside the near post.

Lansing High junior Bianca Manago collides with Immaculata's Ashley Langhoff during Lansing's 5-0 victory Thursday.

Lansing High junior Bianca Manago collides with Immaculata's Ashley Langhoff during Lansing's 5-0 victory Thursday.

The Lions continued to attack for the remainder of the first half, but they were unable to score again. Pride hit the far post. Kristen Huffman had a shot taken off her foot. Bianca Manago and Erin Griffen took shots that sailed just a bit high.

Immaculata took three shots in the first half. All three were on target, but LHS sophomore goalkeeper Katie Nietzke was there to make saves each time.

The game remained 1-0 at halftime. Elkins said the Lions didn't do a good job communicating in the first half. He said his players did a better job talking in the second half. The result was additional scoring opportunities and additional goals.

The Lions spent the first 17 minutes of the second half knocking on the door without actually scoring. Cordes hit the crossbar and Kayla Pina hit the post before somebody finally scored again. That somebody was Cordes, whose goal in the 57th minute came off an assist from Pina. The goal was Cordes' sixth of the season.

Lansing High sophomore Lauren Elkins, left, celebrates with teammate Kayla Pina after Elkins scored Lansing's third goal of the game Thursday against Immaculata.

Lansing High sophomore Lauren Elkins, left, celebrates with teammate Kayla Pina after Elkins scored Lansing's third goal of the game Thursday against Immaculata.

Lansing scored again just 48 seconds later when sophomore Lauren Elkins took a pass from junior Abby Livingston-Shelburne and buried a low bending ball just inside the near post. That made Lansing's lead 3-0.

Brittany Swisher added a goal in the 72nd minute off an assist from Livingston-Shelburne, and Pride capped the scoring in the final minute off an assist from Griffen.

Nietzke finished the game with four saves and logged her sixth shutout of the year.

LHS has little time to savor the victory. It plays again at 6 p.m. today against Shawnee Heights in Tecumseh. Heights, the 2004 state champion, defeated Lansing 7-2 last year.

The T-Birds started the season slow, but they've been on fire lately. On Tuesday they handed the Mill Valley Jaguars a 9-4 loss.

Rob Elkins said it was important for his team to play well against Heights and against defending state champion Blue Valley West on Monday in the regular season finale.

"The last two games are important games because they get us in the mindset of the level we're going to have to play for regionals," he said. "The speed of the game is going to be where it's going to be at during regionals. That's the best way to end the regular season."

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