High School Sports

High School Sports

Crosstown push: LHS, Free State soccer play to scoreless draw

Lawrence High sophomore Noel Fisher (15) tries stopping a loose ball against Free State's Hunter Peirce (4).

Lawrence High sophomore Noel Fisher (15) tries stopping a loose ball against Free State's Hunter Peirce (4).

September 22, 2010


There were great saves, six yellow cards and two relatively rowdy fanbases at the Lawrence High-Free State soccer game Tuesday night.

Free State, LHS soccer end game in scoreless tie

This game is the only time the two teams will meet in regular-season play. Enlarge video

But the Lions and Firebirds just couldn’t score a goal. They played to a 0-0 draw at the LHS football field after two 40-minute halves and two 10-minute overtimes. Lawrence (0-4-1) junior goalie Tanner Click made 12 saves, and Free State (2-3-1) senior goalie Elliott Johnson made 11 to record rare mutual shutouts.

Lawrence coach Mike Murphy said Click has improved with every game and is now taking more of a leadership role in the back half of the field.

“Sometimes it’s bodily sacrifice to play that position, and he’s up for it,” Murphy said.

Click immediately deflected credit for the shutout to the defenders in front of him.

“They played terrific,” Click said. “We shut down their offense every time. They had a few chances, but overall, we played great.”

The Firebirds weren’t quite as happy with the final score on Tuesday.

“We didn’t play our best, and they brought it pretty hard,” Johnson said.

Free State also accumulated five yellow cards in the game, including three in the last 20 minutes. Senior Preston Newsome recorded his second yellow of the game just 30 seconds into the first overtime. Newsome, a central midfielder, could only pace the sideline and watch the remaining 19 minutes.

Free State coach Kelly Barah said it was frustrating to watch his team lose its cool. With under 10 seconds to go in the second overtime, the referee signaled for a Lawrence free kick from 40 yards out. Two Firebirds disagreed and were immediately booked.

“We’ve always prided ourselves in terms of being in control and controlling our emotions,” Barah said.

The bookings stopped the clock with 4.1 seconds left. After a long cross into the box, a Lawrence player volleyed the ball through a crowd. But Johnson stopped it and the subsequent rebound to preserve the draw.

Johnson said his coach called the game “embarrassing” afterward. Barah emphasized that the coaching staff would address the issue without direct punishment.

“I understand it was a rivalry game,” Barah said. “But hopefully it doesn’t keep creeping into our team.”

The Firebirds dominated possession in the first half. They were nearly given an opportunity when Click appeared to corral a pass with his hands outside of the goal box.

“I was really nervous,” Click said. “I just threw it out of there real quick.”

Free State senior forward Diego Gonzalez appeared to break free a couple times, but the sideline referee’s flag went up signaling offsides nearly every time.

Play between the teams was more even in the second half, with Lawrence sophomore Robert Lyan nearly scoring with four minutes to go.

The field opened up in overtime, and players on both sides had chances to score the winning goal.

“One of these days, we’ll be able to finish a couple and get a win,” Murphy said.

Barah echoed a similar sentiment.

“Over the past six games, we’ve been finding it really, really hard to stick the ball back in the net,” Barah said.

Lawrence will play again at 7 p.m. Thursday against Olathe Northwest at the LHS soccer field. Free State also will play at home Thursday, at 6:30 p.m. against Shawnee Mission South.


Clickker 7 years, 8 months ago

Obviously, I like the way the young Click kid played!!

Way to go Tanner!

Jeez---all those yellow cards? Get your emotions under control. And by the way, on a 0-0 tie, to say the other team played out thier a$$, and your team didnt bring it, is pretty good Bulletin board material. Better to just keep it shut until you cool off.

Maxandwillie 7 years, 8 months ago

A tie does not always mean that the teams were equal in soccer. The fact that LHS is excited about the tie and FS is disappointed is more a reflectiion of the historic success of free state and the lack of it at LHS.

findaway 7 years, 8 months ago

Don't forget these are HIGH SCHOOL KIDS they're just happy about NOT losing

garyr 7 years, 8 months ago

A 0 - 0 tie? Wow. Sounds like an action packed game. Sorry I missed this barnburner!

Shelley Bock 7 years, 8 months ago

garyr, you obviously don't understand the game or the effort. Good goalkeeping can frustrate the offense.

What really disappointed me was that LHS didn't have any roster sheets available so you could tell who was who. Yes, I know some of the players, but not everyone.

I wonder if this type of error would be forgotten at the Free State versus Lawrence High football game? That would never happen. Too bad, that the little things don't get taken care of by the administration.

Kaw Pickinton 7 years, 8 months ago

HANDBALL! Diego at about 1/2 way through the video.

just sayin, and not that it helped.

Wish I would have know this game was today.

Hop2It 7 years, 8 months ago

Yes, it would have been nice to have a preview of the 'big game' in the paper like they do with other sports. Hope they do a better job in the future.

SoccerGenius 7 years, 8 months ago

Why would Barah mess with his lineup that worked so well against ONW? This had to be disappointing to the Free State side after such a strong showing against ONW. FS back four were adequate, keeper was great. Attack was to direct. FS must develop more attack wide through players who can get the job done, this might be those who think they should be scoring now. Instead, the top penetraters may need to serve balls back from the goal line to the less skilled players who simply have to run onto the ball and one touch it into the net. It is not rocket science. Is there anyone that can get the job done?

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