Lawrence High's soccer team used a dominating first-half performance to topple Shawnee Mission North, 4-1, on Thursday afternoon at the YSI fields.
"We came out strong and played a good first half. We really wanted this game with it being at home," LHS forward Chris Erb said. "We're coming together as a team."
Keith James scored three early goals to give the Lions a quick 3-0 lead.
"I had three goals, but my field play wasn't that great," James said. "One goal was good and two were off defenders, but they count."
The Indians' lone goal was off a penalty kick, quickly countered by a first-half goal by Erb.
"IT WAS OFF a corner kick and three guys went up for the header," Erb said. "It deflected off one of them and Scott (Vangemeren) tried to touch it in. It went off the goalie and was laid up in front of the goal and I hit it in."
Both teams were a bit sluggish the second half, when they played to a scoreless tie.
"The second half, our teamwork didn't work very well," Erb said. "We passed well but didn't get any goals and didn't finish."
"We played selfishly in the last 24-30 minutes," noted LHS coach Mark Craig, who said he was impressed with the victory.
"This is an exceptional bunch of kids, and when they play to their level, they can play with anybody. We're going to surprise some people the rest of the season," he said.
Craig was equally impressed with the performance of senior sweeper Scott Vangemeren.
"SCOTT DOMINATED the back defensive third," Craig said. "He's extremely smart and has the quickest feet on the team."
The win pushed the Lions record to 4-4-1, equaling the victory total of last year.
"It's a point LHS soccer hasn't been at for quite a few years now," Vangemeren said. "It raises the confidence as well, so we'll be looking at more victories."
The Lions will next face Topeka on Oct. 5 at YSI.