Archive for Tuesday, May 4, 1999


May 4, 1999


If Free State High's girls soccer team had as many wins as it has ice bags, the Firebirds might be Sunflower League champions.

As it is, the injury-riddled Firebirds continued to struggle in a 2-1 loss to Leavenworth on Monday at the FSHS field.

"I thought we should have had it," Free State coach Phil Lee said after watching his team drop to 0-9-1. "It's just tough because our girls are so beat up right now."

Missing a large chunk of their offense with an assortment of health problems, the Firebirds play six freshman consistently. Free State plays only four upperclassmen.

"It's stressful," FSHS freshman Gretchen Huffman said. "You want to win, but it's tough with all of the injuries, and we don't have much time to recover."

Huffman was a highlight for the Firebirds, scoring her first varsity goal to tie the score at one midway through the second half. Huffman, who played two junior varsity games before being called up to varsity because of all the ailments, knocked in a ball off Morgan Matthews' corner kick. Actually, Leavenworth goalie Marie Keplinger caught Huffman's deflection, but she did so unbalanced and fell back into the goal.

"It was neat," Huffman said.

What wasn't so neat for Free State was Leavenworth's goal in the 64th minute that sealed the outcome.

"Free State played us well," Leavenworth coach Pete Doll said. "They were physical and they did a nice job of controlling the ball in the second half. But we felt like we should have been up a few goals in the first half."

Free State trailed 1-0 after intermission.

"It's kind of tough," Lee said. "Right now we're just trying to survive. The effort isn't lacking, just getting it together. We're a really young team."

Free State will play host to Shawnee Mission North on Wednesday.

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