Cougars overwhelm Mustangs in dramatic season opener

The+Cougar%27s+kneel+together+in+apprehension%2C+watching+the+penalty+kick+shootout.+Senior+John+Mcnair+scored+the+winning+penalty+kick+goal%2C+beating+the+Mustangs+5-4.

The Cougar's kneel together in apprehension, watching the penalty kick shootout. Senior John Mcnair scored the winning penalty kick goal, beating the Mustangs 5-4.

The boys’ soccer team started their season in dramatic fashion last night against the highly-ranked Blue Valley North Mustangs. The Cougars finally overpowered the Mustangs after three overtimes in an epic penalty kick finale. Senior John McNair scored the winning goal, putting the Cougars ahead 5-4, after goalie Shawn Miles made a crucial save to keep the Cougars alive.

For the most part, the game was played at midfield, with both teams showing off an exceptional defense. The Cougars failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities several times when they got inside the Mustang’s territory, especially in the second half when the fast-paced Cougar attacks started to wear on the Mustang’s defense.

“We had several chances in the first half with guys in front of the frame , but a lack of concentration, as far as tapping it in. prevented us from scoring,” Coach Todd Boren said.

“In the second half, their goalkeeper just had some tremendous saves. We had a couple of opportunities where he came up huge,” Boren said, ” and you can’t fault a kid for that. You’re asking the goal keeper to do his job, and he did it.”

The tough game also made many of the Cougar’s strengths and weaknesses apparent. The Cougars’ speed of play was one of the key elements in their offense, by not giving the Mustang’s defenders time to rest and gather themselves.

“We have to keep the fast-paced game play going, let the ball do all the work. I think that will be our biggest strength.” Boren said.

The game itself lasted about two hours, including penalty kicks. Players on both teams began cramping up toward the end of the game, and after the game, both squads were exhausted.

When asked what the Cougars will be doing to prepare for their game Thursday against the Olathe South Falcons, Coach Boren replied with one word.

“Rest.”

The Cougars will play next in the Olathe East Tournament on Thursday,  at CBAC, 7:00 pm.