Boys’ soccer defeated by state champions Falcons, 2-1

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The boys’ soccer team suffered their first loss of the season to defending state champions Olathe South, 2-1. The Cougars came out strong, controlling possession for most of the first half, with senior Eric Haun scoring the first goal of the game off a rebound with 13:55 on the clock. But the Falcons countered in mere minutes with a goal of their own, an arching shot that nearly hit the crossbar as it went in.

Both teams played a physical game forcing the referees to intervene several times. Falcons’ defender Kyle Vassar drew a yellow card with 15 minutes left in the first half, just one example of the physical play of both teams. The Cougars were the perpetrators of two fouls in the penalty box during the second half, both resulting in penalty kicks. But senior goalie Shawn Miles came up with yet another pair of huge saves to keep the Cougars from falling behind by two goals.

Later in the second half, the Falcons scored again on a tap-in off a well-executed crossing pass play, putting them ahead 2-1 with 16:45 left to play. The Cougars nearly scored on a header with 10 minutes remaining, but they failed to control the ball long enough to set up any kind of offense for the remainder of the game.

“We’ve got some guys that we need to iron out a little bit. I think we just need to move the ball faster. And we’ve got guys holding on to the ball a little too long, allowing the defense to collapse on us and close the passing lanes.” Coach Todd Boren said. “If we could just play one or two touch soccer, I think the result would have been a little different tonight.”

The Cougars will face the Park Hill South Panthers on Saturday for third place. The Panthers are also 1-1 in the tournament, with a win over Olathe Northwest and a loss to Olathe East, who will play Olathe South for the championship.

“We’ve got guys who are banged up, so we’ll be going pretty light tomorrow when we try to iron some of these issues out. But it isn’t something that can be fixed in one practice, it’s going to take two, three, four practices before we get it fixed.” Boren said of the upcoming game against the Panthers.

The Cougars will play at 10 a.m. on Saturday at CBAC (east field). For directions to CBAC, click here.