Rutherford sparks BLHS soccer squad past Piper
Patrick Rutherford gave the Basehor-Linwood boys soccer team another lift in a 1-0 victory against Piper Monday afternoon at home.
With no score at halftime, Basehor-Linwood coaches and players were looking for a way to score a goal. Coach Austin Knipp asked his players to work on moving the ball down the field with short passes and dribbling, rather than simply kicking it long and hoping a teammate could outrun the opponent to maintain possession.
Early in the second period, the Bobcats found a way to score.
Rutherford got the ball in the open field, made a couple dribbles and buried the ball into the back of the net.
“I looked away and as soon I looked away he scored on a left-footed shot,” Knipp said. “I was disappointed that I missed it.”
The goal was Rutherford’s seventh of the season.
“Yeah, he definitely stepped up for us, for sure,” Knipp said.
The goal was the difference in a game that featured two evenly matched teams.
“Piper is a solid team,” Knipp said. “No individuals really stand out, they are just solid team wise. Everyone knows what each other is doing for them.”
For the most part, Piper played more aggressive soccer on offense in the second half, leaving the Bobcats playing defense.
Goalkeeper Russell Clark had another strong performance for the Bobcats, including a nice save on a one-on-one play to secure the shutout. Without the save, it would have been a different game.
“He is doing really well; he is still learning every game,” Knipp said. “He is becoming his own force in the goalkeeper area.”
In addition, Destry Bryan played a key role in the team’s defense.
Basehor-Linwood (5-1) traveled to Tonganoxie on Wednesday. Results were unavailable at press time. The team plays host to Baldwin on Thursday.
“I am happy with how they have played so far, but it can be better,” Knipp said. “We have had ups and downs as we should, but there are a lot of things that we are doing right and still a lot we are doing wrong. We still have half the regular season to go, so hopefully we will get it figured out by the end of season, just in time for postseason.”
Playing attacking soccer and possessing the ball is an area his team can improve upon, Knipp said.
“I would like to not be in defensive mode the entire game like we have been lately,” he said. “We need to possess the ball more. Offensive guys need to work to get the ball, work the ball back and forth. We need to keep the ball up there a little more. When we get it up there, we want to boot it up the field and hope our guy runs down there and catches it.”