Opportunity after opportunity came and went for most of Monday's boys soccer game between Seabury Academy and Kansas City Sumner at the Youth Sports Inc., fields.
The Seahawks had 22 shots, 12 of them on goal, but were only able to score twice. It was still good enough for a 2-0 victory.
Seabury (4-3) scored early, in the eighth minute, when midfielder Simon Thompson fed Chris Parker a perfect pass down the middle of the field. The pass split the defense, and Parker had a breakaway to the goal. Parker hit the ball hard and beat the goalkeeper to the right side.
"I scored on one of the goals from one of my teammates from hard work," Parker said. "I just kind of got it in the right place at the right time."
The Seahawks continued their offensive pressure the remainder of the half, but were unable to score again until a penalty kick was called in the 48th minute. Parker took the kick and beat the goalkeeper, high and to the middle of the goal. The shot deflected off the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Parker had other shots hit the crossbar during the game, but did not get frustrated.
"In practice, I always hit it off the crossbar, so it is kind of a joke on the team," Parker said.
Seabury coach Gunar Harmon had difficulty figuring out a Sumner defense that featured five players on the back line. Harmon was concerned Sumner might break that defense and push players forward to surprise his team.
"They had chances, but they lacked the numbers to get forward," Harmon said. "We had a dangerous lead. If they get a goal back they are halfway home."
Seabury's best opportunity to score again came in the 61st minute on another penalty kick. Harmon elected to send senior goalkeeper Philip Anderson to take the kick. Anderson missed, hitting it over the goal.
"It probably was a little hubris on my part to send the goalkeeper forward, but as a senior you want to send him off," Harmon said.
Harmon was happy with the low-scoring win because it gave his team the opportunity to play a close game, something the Seahawks aren't accustomed to.
"It has been feast or famine," Harmon said. "Either we win by big or lose by big, so to be in a tight game is a good thing at this time of season."
Seabury controlled the pace of the game throughout, thanks to solid play in the midfield by Thompson. Thompson fed teammates with good passes that led to scoring opportunities.
"He is an integral part of what we do," Harmon said. "I would like to feature a different formation or a different way of utilizing the players around him. Maybe closer to the postseason we will be able to put him in a better position, better suited for his talent."
Many of the Seahawks' offensive pushes were stifled by the referee, who whistled Seabury offside 11 times.
"Maybe that is just a fault on our players, but some of the calls I thought were a bit harsh," Thompson said.
Seabury will face Hyman Brand on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at YSI.