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Sports

LHS soccer keeps its cool, clobbers O-North

September 14, 2011, 12:00 a.m. Updated September 14, 2011, 11:19 a.m.

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Lawrence High senior Chandler Thomann turns the ball upfield against Olathe North during the first half on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011 at Lawrence High School.

Lawrence High senior Chandler Thomann turns the ball upfield against Olathe North during the first half on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011 at Lawrence High School.

Even on the winning end of a lopsided soccer game, Lawrence High learned a valuable lesson in sportsmanship.

LHS (1-2) had no trouble outscoring Olathe North, 4-0, Tuesday night at LHS, but the Eagles wouldn’t go quietly. The Lions scored all four goals in the first half, and by the second half the Eagles changed their tone.

“It definitely got more physical,” LHS coach Mike Murphy said.

The contest quickly turned into a flop-laden, trash-talking outburst after a first half of quality play from both teams. The referee lectured several players for rowdiness, while the Lions kept their cool. They didn’t retaliate, they just played soccer.

“They talked a lot and they dove a lot, faking injuries trying to run out the clock,” LHS senior Zach Wustefeld said.

About five minutes in, Wustefeld gave the Lions their first goal of the season. He followed it up with another six minutes later.

Chandler Thomann and Donald Harris both came off the bench and added a goal apiece.

After struggling to score in its first two games, LHS had no such trouble against O-North, converting the same goals that eluded it in the previous two matches.

“We talked about that at halftime,” Murphy said. “The monkey’s off our back. We’ve scored. Now let’s play soccer.”

And so LHS did. The Lions passed the ball the entire half, maintaining control without running up the score.

Every five minutes, as if to stop the flow of the action, it seemed an O-North player would go down in pain. Some flops looked serious; some were just for show. Then came the verbal jabs from the Eagles, but the Lions still went about their business.

Of course, it’s easy when you’re not the one getting beat, Wustefeld said.

“Having four goals, you can pretty much keep your cool because it doesn’t really matter,” he said.

After the game, Eagles head coach Dave Glassman lectured his team while Murphy praised his. Winning the game was important, but showing composure was a greater gauge of his team’s strength, he said.

“Kids get frustrated,” Murphy said. “Kids are kids. But I told these guys though that no matter what, we play smart and we play cool and we keep our emotions in check.”

LHS will travel to Shawnee Mission Northwest, one of the top teams in the conference, at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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Comments

alphabetsoup 3 years, 6 months ago

Oh my! While LHS complains about an apparent lack of sportsmanship from their opponent, they make themselves appear worse than those they would blame. But not terribly surprising considering the words of the LHS coach. It appears to be a problem from the top of the team down. For shame! And this sports writer, or worse yet, the sports editor--egads. If they have degrees in journalism, their alma maters must be cringing. Quality reporting? Sadly, very far from it. Are people here in Lawrence entirely lacking in class? If this were to be taken as an example, I would be forced to concede that we indeed lack grace and proper comportment.

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