BLHS edges Bishop Ward for 1-0 victory
Basehor-Linwood learned how to win close games this week after a difficult loss.
During halftime of the Bobcats’ game against Bishop Ward on Tuesday, BLHS coach Jaclyn Naster outlined two scenarios for her team.
One goal, one defensive breakdown can cost you the game, Naster said. On the converse, one scored goal against the Bishop Ward defense could win them the game. The game would be decided by defense and one goal.
There was no score in the game. Naster implemented a plan to prevent defensive breakdowns, marking Bishop Ward’s biggest scoring threat with a defender at all times. The suggestion came from her players and worked in the second half as Cory Stephens marked up the player throughout the period.
On offense, Basehor showed resiliency and did enough to win the game. The Bobcats scored the game’s only goal 15 minutes into the period. On the play, Bishop Ward’s goalie came out on a ball that was hit to the front of the goal box. The goalkeeper misjudged the ball and Basehor’s Beau Himpel put a foot on it and knocked it into the net.
The Bobcats’ goal came about two minutes after the team appeared to have scored its first goal of the game. Symon Seaton scored a goal off a crossing pass, but the goal was waived off because another referee had called offsides on the play.
The head referee initially said to play on because he did not know what the call was the referee had made until after the goal was scored.
Naster said she was pleased with how her players handled the goal being waived off.
“The thing is, they did not let it get them down,” she said. “They came back and kept focused and got another goal.”
Throughout the game, BLHS defenders did a nice job of stopping Bishop Ward from scoring. Defenders played assignment-sound defense and goalie Ryan Lawless made big saves that kept Bishop Ward from scoring a game-tying goal.
He made his final save on a diving stop with two minutes to play, securing the shutout.
The Bobcats’ victory came five days after a 3-2 loss to St. James Academy.
St. James Academy — the fourth-place finisher at last year’s Class 4A state tournament — scored the game-winning goal with less than a minute to play in the game. The Bobcats thought the referee had called offsides and let up on the play.
The Thunder kept playing and drove in and scored the goal with 31 seconds left in the game.
The defensive breakdown was costly and was a good lesson for the team to learn early in the season, Naster said.
“I think that broke their hearts to lose like that,” she said. “We would rather have a mental mistake like that at the beginning of the year and learn from it for later in the season.”
Basehor-Linwood had led 2-0 early in the game on two goals by Patrick Rutherford.
St. James scored a goal before halftime.
“That was by far the best half of soccer we had played all year,” Naster said.
St. James Academy tied the game in the second period and then went on to win the game.