Smith’s 3 goals spark BLHS to win
Jessica Smith wasn't going to let Basehor-Linwood lose this one.
Already on the wrong end of numerous close games this season, the Lady Bobcats were staring at another loss, and then Smith did something about it.
The senior buried three goals and the Lady 'Cats pulled away for a 4-2 victory Tuesday night at Tonganoxie.
The game changed late in the second half with the score tied 2-2. Shanna Couch sent a ball up the middle of the field; Smith reached it and pushed it up. She raced past the defense and unleashed a shot that sailed just over the Tonganoxie keeper to give BLHS the deciding edge.
"Jessica had a good game," coach Kevin Vincent said. "She was set up by our midfield consistently. She is one of the top players in our league, and she scores even though teams know she is a threat and try to stop her."
Smith now has 22 goals on the season.
Couch scored the first goal of the game about 12 minutes in. Smith netted her first goal before halftime, and BLHS led 2-0 at intermission.
The Chieftains stormed back early in the second half, however, but the Lady 'Cats' defense stepped up and cut off the threat when needed.
"I thought we played really well," Vincent said. "Our passing was better than it had been in previous games. As a team we played really well. Tonganoxie has had a good season and to beat an elite team is a confidence-booster."
Vincent was especially pleased with his team's play on the defensive end.
"The defense was phenomenal," Vincent said. "They played really well as a team. The girls were communicating well. It was like they could read each other's minds. I think our defense playing better helped our offense because it gave us a good transition. When our defense puts everything together, it helps the offense."
The victory improved BLHS to 6-7-1 overall and 2-3 in the Kaw Valley League. The team is poised to surprise in the playoffs and make good on its early-season promise.
"I really do feel like we can make it a long way," Audrey Brock said. "We have a lot of strong players. We all work hard and we work together. I feel like we deserve it. We have put a lot in. We are tough and we deserve to go."
Vincent said his players have the feeling as the season winds down that every game is more important.
"During the playoffs, it sets in that the end could be now if we don't play our best game," Vincent said. "I think the seniors will step up. I know they will bring their A game, and the rest of the team will feed off that."
Brock said the team has "learned from losses and the mistakes."
"Now that the league games are ending, I feel like we can turn the mistakes we've made into strengths," Brock said. "We need to look at it as: This is our last game. We either win it or we lose it. For the seniors, this is our last game together: we either win it or lose it."