Getting married and having children were two of the three proudest moments in Lawrence High girls soccer coach Matt Anderson's life.
After losing, 3-0, Thursday to Olathe East at the Youth Sports Inc. fields, Anderson told his team that watching the progress it had made since losing, 10-0, to the same team the past two seasons rounded out the top three.
"They have come so far in such a short amount of time," Anderson said. "It's amazing. I am so excited, and I can't wait for (practice) tomorrow. With what they showed me tonight, we should be able to win some games this season."
Anderson mentioned the 10-0 losses the past two seasons only briefly when preparing for Thursday's showdown.
Before the varsity game, the Lions' JV fell, 10-0.
"It was a little intimidating," Lawrence's Lindsey Lawrence said. "I tried to prepare the freshman because they haven't played in these types of games. These girls (Olathe East) are some of the best in the nation."
The Hawks didn't waste any time, scoring their first goal only four minutes in. After that, the Lions' defense turned it up.
Though the ball remained in Lawrence's defensive zone the entire half, LHS held Olathe East scoreless the rest of the first half.
"The first goal they had was a complete fluke," Lawrence said. "We kept five back the rest of the half to keep them from scoring again. We really frustrated them a lot. We could hear them cursing out there."
Just 1:20 into the second half, Brooke Ryan lobbed a ball over the head of Lawrence goalie Emma Lumpe to put Olathe East up 2-0.
"Your heart just drops," Anderson said of the second goal, that seemingly put the game out of reach.
"We felt OK when it was 1-0, but we knew we probably weren't going to score three goals off them. It was definitely disappointing."
Anderson installed a new 5-4-1 formation Tuesday to try to combat the high-powered Olathe East lineup.
Another change he made was moving Abby Vestal back to defense for the entire game.
She had played defense at times, but never full-time until Thursday.
Lawrence (2-1) will travel Tuesday to Olathe North.