Soccer season ends with 2-1 loss to Turner
Kansas City, Kan. The Lansing High boys soccer team looked like the superior team for 75 minutes Wednesday night, but those other five minutes proved to be the most important.
During that brief window of time midway through the first half, Turner buried a pair of goals and handed Lansing a 2-1 loss in the Class 5A regional semifinals at Leo Alvey Park.
The loss ended what has been a rollercoaster season for Lansing, which finished with a 7-9 record.
The Lions held a 15-7 advantage in shots, but they struggled to convert those shots into goals.
"We had a lot of opportunities; we just didn't score," junior midfielder Clayton Hall said. "We can't finish. It's been something we couldn't do all year."
After a couple of nice attacks that didn't result in shots, Lansing broke through in the seventh minute when senior Ben Hancock received a long pass and broke free for a one-on-one with the Turner goalkeeper. Hancock was tripped from behind in the box, however, and LHS was awarded a penalty kick. Hall took the shot and buried it into the bottom right corner for a 1-0 lead.
Hancock continued to give the Turner defense trouble during the next few minutes, but while trying to take the ball away from a defender in the 13th minute Hancock dropped to the ground in pain. He injured his left knee, and after a five-minute delay he was helped to the sideline.
Moments after play resumed, Turner senior Luis Palos sprung loose on a breakaway and tied the game. A few minutes later senior Alex Godfrey did the same and put the Bears ahead 2-1.
"We had about five minutes of let-down that we didn't get behind the ball," LHS coach Randy Brown said. "They played the ball through numerous people and broke on goal twice. They had very few shots, but their shots were good so they scored goals."
Lansing had numerous chances to tie the game, but never converted. The best opportunities came during a four-minute span midway through the second half when the Lions fired five shots on target. A corner kick by freshman Chris Rathjen came the closest to going in, but it was snagged near the crossbar by the Bears' goalkeeper.
The loss marked the final game for seniors Ethan Alexander, Niklas Wagner, Chance Thackston, Ale Buego, Nick Stevenson, Dennis Wood, Mo Meyer, Drew Reynolds and Hancock. Stevenson said he was sad his high school career was over, but he said he was pleased with the way the team finished the season after getting off to a rough start.
"It was way better at the end," he said. "At the beginning we looked like a U-14 rec team. At the end we looked like we could actually compete."