Perry — Somebody forgot to tell Eudora High’s soccer team it had virtually no chance Tuesday night.
No way could the lowly Cardinals knock off Perry-Lecompton, the No. 1 seed in the Class 4-1A northeast regional.
“It was a long mountain when we stood at the bottom and looked up,” Eudora coach Gunar Harmon said.
Yet the Cardinals nearly reached the summit, playing the Kaws to a draw for 110 minutes before bowing, 3-2, on penalty kicks.
“Eudora, they played well,” Perry-Lecompton coach Rodge Moore said, “and we did what you can’t do in soccer. We missed opportunities early.”
Perry-Lecompton dominated offensively, outshooting the No. 13-seeded Cards, 25-4, but came within 68 seconds of suffering a stunning defeat.
With 1:08 remaining in regulation and Eudora leading, 2-1, P-L senior midfielder Colton Miller somehow wormed a shot into the net underneath diving Eudora goalkeeper Michael-Shayne Baxter.
“I’m looking, and I’m thinking he wasted a shot,” Moore said of Miller’s goal. “He didn’t have an angle. He had to turn to shoot it. But that’s just soccer. Sometimes you hit that magic shot.”
No more magic shots came in the first 10-minute overtime. Or the second 10-minute OT. Or the third five-minute OT. Or the fourth five-minute OT.
Normally, the game would have ended in a tie at that stage, but this was the playoffs so both teams were placed in a situation neither had faced all fall.
“There was a lot of tension out there,” said Miller, who had also posted the Kaws’ first goal in the 72nd minute.
Eudora went first, and Daniel Brauda, who had scored with 6:34 remaining in regulation and given the Cards a 2-1 lead, drilled the ball past P-L goalkeeper Dylan Turpin.
Moments later, Perry’s John Mehl converted. Then Eudora’s Addison Jones and Matt Jump, who was credited with the Cards’ first goal, put the ball in the net, and so did the Kaws’ Riley Shafer and Miller.
Finally, a breakthrough. Turpin saved Jacob Beck’s shot, and Perry’s Johannes Will converted to give the Kaws a 4-3 edge.
Now the pressure was on Eudora’s fifth and last kicker, Jared Bruner, who had to make the shot or the game was over. And when his boot whizzed inches past the right goal post, Eudora’s hopes of a pulling a shocker had ended.
“To play those overtimes,” Harmon said, “and let two yards settle the deal, it’s hard.”
Eudora concluded with a 3-14 record, while Perry-Lecompton (14-2) will entertain either Basehor-Linwood or Lenexa St. James at 5 p.m. Friday.