One night after opening the 2009 season with a tough loss at Manhattan, Lawrence High’s boys soccer team rebounded with a 3-0 home victory against Junction City on Tuesday.
In the early going, LHS coach Matt Anderson said it was apparent that his team was mentally and physically drained from Monday’s contest. The scoreboard backed that claim, as the two schools entered halftime deadlocked at 0.
“(Monday) night was pretty intense for a first game,” Anderson said. “And I think you could tell that our guys left a lot in Manhattan.”
The second half was a different story altogether. Four minutes into the second frame, the Lions found their offensive groove. Senior Will Burg scored at the 36-minute mark off an assist from Enoch Quaye. At the 18-minute mark, sophomore Tanner Williams made the score 2-0 in favor of the home team after converting an assist from Matthias Reiber.
With two minutes to play, junior Gustavo Arroyo scored his second goal in two days to set the final margin.
Tuesday’s game was the first official contest played in the confines of the new stadium at LHS. Initially, it was scheduled to be a 7 p.m. kickoff, but the LHS athletic department changed the start time to 4:15 p.m. and did not notify the Journal-World.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding kickoff, Anderson remained pleased with what he saw from his team and said he looked forward to the upcoming 10-day layoff after battling through back-to-back games.
“I’m excited,” Anderson said. “The break will be good for us because we really didn’t get much of a training camp. We were indoors for half of it, and we only got a couple of days to practice on this field before playing on it.”
On a more positive note, Anderson said significant progress was made this week on the Lions’ soccer-specific field, which will be located just north of 21st Street.
Until that field is completed, which administrators say should happen sometime this season, the LHS soccer program will play all of its home games at the football stadium. That’s just fine with Anderson, who pointed out that the LHS varsity soccer programs now are 3-0 on that field and have yet to surrender a goal. The LHS girls closed the spring season on the new turf with back-to-back shutout victories against Free State before bowing out of the postseason at Washburn Rural.
The LHS boys (1-1) will play Sept. 12 at defending Sunflower League champion Shawnee Mission Northwest.