LHS girls soccer coach Keith Nelson called off another practice today following the Lions' dominating performance against Kansas City (Mo.) Pembroke Hill on Friday afternoon at Youth Sports Inc. fields. The Lions blanked the Raiders, 1-0, to improve to 6-5 and tie a school record for wins in a season.
"It's significant because I think the girls have worked hard all season," Nelson said of matching the school record. "I think they deserve success."
Sophomore forward Lindsay Garito scored the lone goal, blasting a shot from 20 feet out into lower left corner of the net. She juked a couple of defenders to set up the decisive goal.
"I think they thought I was going to go outside and I decided to cut it back," Garito said of her first goal of the season. "We've been working on offensive strategy a lot and it seems to work."
Nelson anticipates more goals for Garito with four games left in the regular season.
"She beat two defenders and just kicked it in the corner," Nelson said. "She's a player who could score a lot of goals for us when she gets used to that forward position."
The Lions bombarded the Raiders (4-4-1) with 19 shots on goal compared to Pembroke's four. In the second half, LHS outshot Pembroke 10-0.
"We work a lot in practice on combination play and overlaps and they came out and did it so nicely today," Nelson said of the attack.
Lawrence's attack resulted in relaxation for LHS senior goalie Tayler Guntert.
"I touched the dirt more than I did ball," said Guntert, who didn't make contact with the ball in the final 40 minutes after recording four saves in the first half. "Our defense is doing a really, really good job and stepped it up in the second half. They got some good shots in the first half but they weren't really hard. It was pretty simple."
All six of Lawrence's wins have been shutouts. Five of the victories have been decided by 1-0 margins.
"Whenever we can, we try to support midfield, maybe do some overlapping runs and some give-and-gos," LHS junior left defender Andrea Stoneback said. "We're still learning and we're a lot better than last year."
Stoneback is confident the Lions can break the school record for wins.
"I know we can break it," she said. "We need just one more win."
A plus-.500 record and closing in on a school record have motivated the Lions.
"It's really huge, especially for LHS girls soccer," Guntert said. "We're hoping we can break that record and keep it going."
Next for LHS is a Tuesday game at Olathe South.
-- Steve Rottinghaus can be reached at 832-7152.