It was a somber Senior Day for the Free State High girls soccer squad Tuesday.
Missing one classmate because of injury, seniors Logan Keasling and Katie Bracciano didn't get the sendoff they were looking for with a 5-0 loss to Shawnee Mission Northwest.
"It was pretty exciting, but that loss didn't help. It kind of ruined the moment," Keasling said. "I think our seniors have done a lot for this program, so celebrating our day was a big deal for us."
An injured Leah Williams got the opportunity to step on to the field, but only during the halftime ceremony to recognize the seniors.
"She's my best friend, and it's so weird out on the field without her," Keasling said about Williams. "It's a whole different atmosphere with her off the field. So not celebrating with her on the field for Senior Day was pretty rough."
The absence of Williams also made things difficult for FSHS coach Jason Pendleton.
"Leah has been such an important part of our program for four years. She's our most skilled player, our most physical player," Pendleton said. "Not only is she not on the field, but then you have to move players around to try to compensate for that, and that's been a definite struggle for us."
The Firebirds struggled to get much going offensively. Free State put four shots on goal over the course of the game, but most of the shots came from outside the box.
"I don't think it was a matter of us not being able to penetrate the box, because I think we could have," Keasling said. "But we worked a lot on getting the ball out wide and then trying to play it back in, and I just think we didn't finish the playing it back in part. We just got the ball out wide, and it kind of stopped out there."
Pendleton said the decision on offense fell squarely on him.
"From an attacking standpoint, we're struggling just a bit from personnel with having a few kids missing here and there," Pendleton said. "But when it is potentially a situation where it looks like something's going to come out of it, we aren't able to execute it. So I've got to find some different ways for us to try to develop some offensive attacks."
Free State will travel to face Olathe North today. Start time is scheduled for 7 p.m.