Lawrence High's girls soccer team lost 3-1 Friday night against visiting Topeka Washburn Rural, but the Lions showed the kind of play they are capable of in the second half.
LHS (0-6-1), however, couldn't overcome a three-goal lead by the Junior Blues (6-1-1).
In the 10th minute of the second half, senior Lindsay Garito sliced through the Rural defense and gave a split-second feed to fellow senior Aly Barland who rocketed the ball home.
"It was a hard goal to miss," Barland said. "It was a perfect pass."
Garito, who earlier in the day ran for the Lions in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays at the Kansas Relays, was playing upfield when the goal occurred. She was one of several players that Lawrence coach Keith Nelson moved around for a new offensive look at halftime.
"Sometimes when things aren't going well you like to switch things up," Nelson said. "That's what happened. We decided to make some changes, and I think it worked."
LHS senior Bess Chatman said her squad was able to pressure the Junior Blues offensively in the second half by getting most of the neutral balls.
"We were winning the 50-50 balls," Chatman said. "It gives us more room to get the ball up the field."
Washburn Rural put on a clinic in the first half with short give-and-go plays. Senior Jenna Lawless capitalized with two early goals in the first half.
Her first goal came in the 37th minute when she rocketed the ball to the right side of the net from medium range.
After an LHS hand ball, Lawless took the free kick for Rural and put it past LHS junior goalkeeper Shannon Fisher.
"She had a great game," Rural coach Lionel Suarez said of Lawless. "She's been pretty quiet in the last few games. She had a game she's capable of playing."
The Junior Blues scored their third goal in the 24th minute of the second half when junior Jennifer Pecis buried a close shot from the far left side.
Despite the second straight loss, Nelson pointed out that it was during the Washburn Rural game last year that his team finally started gaining confidence and began to turn its season around.
He's hoping that history will repeat itself.
"I think this was the spark we needed," he said.
The Lions travel Monday to Shawnee Mission Northwest.