High School Sports

High School Sports

Free State soccer plays to 0-0 draw

Free State senior Zach Gay goes up for a loose ball against Olathe East's Ryan Dickerson on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011 at FSHS.

Free State senior Zach Gay goes up for a loose ball against Olathe East's Ryan Dickerson on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011 at FSHS.

October 12, 2011


Free State and Olathe East high schools played two overtimes, and each team took plenty of shots. Still, neither could score.

The Firebirds played host to the Hawks in a Sunflower League soccer game Tuesday night, and the teams combined for 15 shots that just didn’t go in, resulting in a 0-0 draw.

“It just came down to, did we have or did they have one person that could finish that one chance,” FSHS coach Kelly Barah said. “Today, nobody could.”

When it was over, including the 20 extra minutes, players were busy recovering from cramps and fatigue. Even goalie Luke Lesslie had an extensive workout.

“I’m pretty tired after that game,” he said. “I’m not going to lie.”

O-East took a majority of the shots, but FSHS (7-5-1) held on with defense.

FSHS senior Zach Gay, who replaced an injured Alex Trent at center back, helped the defense subdue the attack. Senior Zack Thompson had a desperate game-saving deflection in the second half with the goal left wide-open.

There was a little bit of luck on defense, too. The Hawks (8-4-1) had three solid shots ricochet off the goal posts.

“It was that close,” Lesslie said.

Each team missed opportunities, but Barah said that given the quality of opponent, a tie wasn’t a disappointment.

“When you play an elite team and you know you’re a good team too, a result like this is not a bad outcome,” he said.

Lesslie said Barah always told the team that it could shock the big teams, and Tuesday night was a decent example. But the team had so many chances it was hard to digest.

“I’m glad that we tied,” Lesslie said, “but I feel like we probably could have won.”

Now FSHS looks ahead to Thursday’s game against cross-town rival Lawrence High.

“I think it’s two teams in the same city that can play really good soccer and have actually announced that they’re getting to that elite status,” Barah said.

The players are excited for the rivalry game, and Lesslie said people compare both teams since they both play low-scoring games. That doesn’t mean the teams are going to stick to their reputation.

“All that matters is how we play against them,” Lesslie said.

The game will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Free State.


Maxandwillie 6 years, 6 months ago

"Going to elite status"? Didnt Free State play in the state Championship game two years ago? Seems like it might have been there before.

Shelley Bock 6 years, 6 months ago

If my memory is correct, this is the first time that Free State boys have not lost to Olathe East. OE is consistently a powerhouse with as good coaching as one can find in this state. Even though OE has 4 loses this year, it still is one of the dominant programs.

I think Coach Barah is talking about achieving that consistently successful program. When Free State made it to the State Finals, many including myself and the Johnson County soccer people were surprised. Coach Barah wants to have a strong, winning program at Free State every year. I also think he'd like to see excellent soccer being played at LHS. When your chief rival is good competition, all the better.

Maxandwillie 6 years, 6 months ago

Free State has tied OE before. From 1999-2009 Free State had winning records in 8 of those seasons (with double digit wins in 6 seasons). In that same period they won 3 regional championships and finished second in 6A in 2009 with a 16-4-1 record. Free state has had a good boys program in the past with a track record of a "strong, winning program". Coach Barah is a good coach and will continue to do a good job. My point is only that the boys program was in great shape when he took over.

LHS on the other hand has not been above .500 for a very long time, but they are playing tough competitive soccer right now and appear to be moving up.

Shelley Bock 6 years, 6 months ago

I seem to remember that the 2010 boys team suffered from the loss of many seniors from the 2009 team and when Diego G. went down with injury, there wasn't the spark there to win the hard game. I've been surprised by the resurgence this year.

As to the girls program at FS, there should be 3-4 very good years in a row.The underclass players are excellent and they will be pushing towards overall success, quite likely over taking the boys success.

Wish I was around town to see the LHS at Free State game on Thursday. I haven't missed any of these match ups, to my knowledge. I hope the LJW covers it in detail. It should be a good contest.

Clickker 6 years, 6 months ago

Its good to see the "if you aint in Foodball, you aint sh*t" mentality fading at FS. Hopefully both city teams can go far this year.

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