Archive for Thursday, October 11, 2007

LHS soccer runs win streak to three

October 11, 2007

— It turned out all the Lansing High boys soccer team needed was a little U-N-I-T-Y.

After losing seven of its first 10 games this year, LHS is on a three-game winning streak. First came a 5-0 victory at Tonganoxie on Oct. 1. On Thursday Lansing delivered a 5-2 shelling of Basehor-Linwood, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 4-1A. Then came a 2-1 double-overtime win Monday night at Gardner-Edgerton.

Suddenly the Lions are brimming with confidence and, most importantly, they believe in each other. It took a while to reach this point, but better late than never.

Junior defender Hawkins Hall said the key has been team bonding.

"We've just been hanging out together," he said. "On the bus we're starting to sing and stuff. It's pretty cool."

Senior forward Ben Hancock agreed.

"Bonding is a big part of it," he said. "At team dinners we bond a lot, and just hanging out at everybody's house trying to stick together."

The Lions replaced almost their entire starting lineup this season, and the adjustment period lasted longer than they'd hoped. For most of the season there was an apparent lack of trust on the field, but now the team is united.

That was evident when Lansing shook off a halftime deficit and routed Basehor. Clayton Hall and Chance Thackston each scored twice in the game, and Hancock added the other goal as the Lions became just the second team to beat the Bobcats this season.

LHS used the confidence gained from that victory to help it rally past Gardner. The Blazers (7-5) struck 10 minutes into the game, but the Lions battled back and eventually evened the game in the 65th minute when Phillip Nelson fired a corner kick to the center of the box and Hancock buried it. Hall later scored the game-winner on a penalty kick with 6:41 left in the second overtime.

"I think the win against Basehor really helped us out in this game," Hancock said. "We felt great after that game. We knew what we could do, we knew what we could accomplish and it helped us come out here and do what we needed to do."

The Lions now are 6-7. They'll try to reach the .500 mark at 6 p.m. Thursday when they play host to Class 4-1A No. 3-ranked Piper. Then they play host to Perry-Lecompton on Oct. 15 and travel to Bishop Ward on Oct. 18 before beginning Class 5A regional play.

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