LHS cruises to soccer victory against Imac
No, the Lansing High boys soccer team's 5-0 victory against Immaculata on Thursday afternoon wasn't an indication that everything was just perfect for the Lions.
In fact, they misfired on about a dozen scoring opportunities from within 12 yards. They also had a handful of defensive breakdowns that led to Raider breakaways.
Still, it was clear LHS learned its lessons from a 3-2 defeat Sept. 6 to Basehor and a come-from-behind 2-1 victory Tuesday at Maranatha where showed a surprising deficiency in communication skills.
"The Maranatha game, communication-wise, was a real wake-up call for us," senior Kyle Buehler said. "We worked on that in practice, and it was a lot better today."
Not coincidentally, the improved communication led to all-around improved play on both ends of the field.
"There's still room for improvement," Buehler said. "But we did play well. We passed well. We made good runs. We talked. We finished some of our chances.
"We're coming along, but there's till more we can do."
The Lions (4-1-1 overall, 3-1-1 Kaw Valley League) seized control from the opening kickoff. They created a flurry of chances in the early minutes. One of those chances turned into a goal in the seventh minute. Buehler attempted to cross a pass from the right corner, but it deflected off a defender and into the goal. Senior Tylor McNeill was in the area and may have got a piece of the ball. McNeill was credited with the goal in the official stats.
Buehler notched a goal of his own 12 minutes later. He again made a long run down the right sideline. When he squared up to cross a pass toward the far post, the Immaculata goalkeeper appeared to lose the ball in the sun as it sailed over his head and into the net.
"That's another one in the line of my lucky goals," Buehler said with a chuckle.
Senior Josh Robinson increased the lead to 3-0 in the 29th minute when he wheeled and fired a shot from 20 yards out that found the back of the net.
Senior Nate Markovetz added to the offensive barrage with 3:30 left before halftime. He made a long run from the left side and drew the goalkeeper out of the box. His initial shot was off the mark, but senior Stepan Herout came up with the loose ball and slipped a pass back to Markovetz who finished it.
Buehler capped the scoring midway through the second half. Senior Andy Dick shook a defender and fired a cross pass while falling down. The pass found Buehler near the far post, and Buehler headed the ball past a defender and into the net for a 5-0 lead.
Most of the starters sat the rest of the game as the Lions coasted to the finish.
The five goals were the most the Lions have scored in a game all season. That's a welcome change for a squad that frequently has been off-target in recent games.
"We're getting better on our finishing, which is really important," Buehler said. "We didn't have our starters in the whole game, but when they were in we got some good shots and we put some in the back of the net. That's what we need to be doing."
LHS will try to tally more goals at 6 p.m. Monday when it travels to Bonner Springs. The Lions beat the Braves 2-0 in the season-opener Aug. 25.
"They're going to be ready to play," Buehler said of the Braves. "We're going to have to bring it. They're on that turf field, and it plays a lot faster than what we're used to, so we're going to have to be ready for them and play one of our best games of the year."