Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lions close in on KVL title

Race to become first league champion tilts toward Lansing with 3-0 win at Basehor

April 26, 2007

The Kaw Valley League championship isn't in hand yet, but the Lansing High girls soccer team senses it's only a matter of time.

LHS knocked off Basehor-Linwood, 3-0, in a rain-shortened game Tuesday at BLHS. That victory improved the Lions' overall record to 8-2 and the league mark to an unblemished 5-0 with two games remaining. A win against first-year program Tonganoxie on Monday would lock up at least a share of the title, and an additional victory May 9 against Piper would complete the league sweep in the inaugural season of KVL girls soccer.

"We wanted to be the first champions for the Kaw Valley League," LHS coach Rob Elkins said. "We've handled the toughest two opponents so far, Mill Valley and Basehor, and I think Piper's up there too, so we still have to deal with Piper. But Piper already has a loss, so we're kind of in the driver's seat. All we have to do is just keep our game together and win it outright. No need to worry about tiebreakers or anything like that."

The victory over Basehor was a crucial step for Lansing in its quest for the crown. The Lions understood that, and they were focused from the beginning. Freshman Allison Dillon capitalized on an errant goal kick in the ninth minute when she stole it and fired in a shot from 25 yards out.

LHS extended its lead to 2-0 in the 30th minute when Katelyn Griffen led a break up the middle of the field and fed a pass to Christine Cordes on the right side. Cordes gathered the ball and placed a shot just inside the far post.

After a brief lightning delay with eight minutes left in the half, the game resumed and Basehor tried to rally. Its best opportunity came early in the second half on a penalty kick, but the shot struck the crossbar. LHS goalkeeper Katie Nietzke got a piece of the follow-up shot and pushed it wide to preserve the shutout. After that, Lansing dominated the rest of the game.

The Lions logged their final goal in the 63rd minute when they strung a series of passes together on a well-organized attack. The final pass went from Dillon to Cordes about 15 yards out. Cordes took a few dribbles, beat a defender and buried a shot into the left corner. Two minutes later the game was called because of lightning in the area.

"We had a lot of momentum going at that point, and if the game had continued I'm pretty sure we'd have knocked in a couple more goals," Elkins said.

Lansing next plays at 6 p.m. today at De Soto. The Wildcats improved to 7-3 with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory Monday against Kansas City Christian.


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