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Archive for Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Free State blows away second straight foe

Firebirds girls hammer Shawnee Mission North in 10-1 soccer victory

April 30, 2003

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With all but a second straight mercy-rule victory in hand Tuesday and time winding down against Shawnee Mission North, Free State High's girls soccer players starting talking about ... "Apocalypse Now," of course.

What?

High school girls talking about Francis Ford Coppola's gory war epic that came out before any of the Firebirds even were born in 1979?

"Yeah, one of the kids was joking, saying 'I smell fear,'" said Free State coach Jason Pendleton of Free State's 10-1 rout of the Indians. "So I was trying to relate that early line in the movie, but none of them got it. It was before their time."

In fact, actor Robert Duvall's famous line -- "I love the smell of napalm in the morning!" -- only created questions and dumfounded looks for the giddy girls on Free State's bench.

What wasn't in doubt Tuesday was that for a few hours at Free State's field, Shawnee Mission North suffered an apocalyptic outing.

Free State -- fresh off an 11-1, jaw-dropping victory against Junction City Monday -- probably should have spread the Indians by the 10-goal rule, especially considering that the Firebirds outshot the Indians by a mind-boggling 41-4 count.

"It was much better to get some other players some playing time rather than the mercy rule," Pendleton said.

Plus, the game never was in doubt.

Free State (5-4) scored the game's first six goals in the first half to make sure the Firebirds' winning ways continued.

"It's definitely nice to get back on a little winning streak," said forward Rebekah Berkley, who has played the biggest part in Free State's back-to-back wins which came after four straight setbacks.

The junior topped her hat trick Monday with four goals Tuesday.

"I don't really know, I think it was mostly luck today," Berkley said.

Maybe, but skill had a lot to do with it when nearly every goal was scored on either a breakaway or give-and-go passes.

And Berkley's Free State teammates -- Meredith Mayo and Wallis Romzek -- certainly weren't shy about getting their goals.

The two each connected twice Tuesday.

Mayo's second goal gave Free State an 8-1 advantage with 32:23 to play.

Free State scored two more the rest of the way, including freshman Jesse Sears' first career goal.

"Oh, my gosh," a gushing Sears said of her goal that came when teammate Kim Begert flicked a tight pass to her right in front of the SMN net. "It will certainly be in my memory book for sure."

Pendleton said he hoped the thrill from scoring 21 goals in two days wouldn't leave his team Thursday when it takes on Olathe North. But he also said too much carried-over excitement would be detrimental against a top-notch North squad.

"It's nice to score those goals and get these wins," Pendleton said. "But Olathe North is a top-five team with premier players. We're going to have to be ready."

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