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High School Sports

High School Sports

Free State soccer shuts out Olathe North

April 27, 2012

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Free State soccer coach Kelly Barah was happy but not ecstatic following his team’s 1-0 home victory over Olathe North on Thursday night.

“Excited because it’s a win, but really frustrated,” Barah said. “We couldn’t get to do the things we want to do and stick it in the back of the net. But we will take a ‘W.’”

Most of the coach’s dissatisfaction came from his team’s inability to focus at certain points.

“We just got rattled a little bit with some of the fouls that we were getting, so we couldn’t recover from that quickly enough,” Barah said. “But again, credit to them for playing tough. We’ll try to get better from that.”

The Firebirds picked up their only goal before halftime, as Hadyn Hutchinson ran free on a breakaway.

“I was nervous, because the goalie was coming out, and I didn’t have a lot of space,” Hutchinson said. “I tried to bend it over to the right corner.”

The sophomore pushed the ball into the side of the net for the Firebirds’ only tally.

Once again, Free State’s defense was able to hold an opponent scoreless. The Firebirds have posted shutouts in seven of their 12 games.

“(Our defenders) do a good job at talking, so if someone goes up, they make sure someone drops back,” Hutchinson said. “We get the most people we can behind the ball, so they can’t get numbers up on us.”

Barah was quick to credit his two center midfielders, Kylee Loneker and Margaux Gill, for helping the back four defend against North (2-10).

Free State also posted the shutout with a new keeper. Sophomore Annie Hiel received the start after senior Elena Auer was forced to sit out a game following a red card in the Firebirds’ last match against Olathe South.

“She played like she’s been playing varsity all her life,” Barah said of Hiel. “That’s what this team is all about: The person on the bench is always ready to step in there and do the job.”

Free State (9-1-2) will play host to No. 1-ranked Olathe East on Tuesday.

Comments

Shelley Bock 2 years, 4 months ago

First of all, I shouldn't read the LJW because in their Wednesday article, it was stated that this game was to be played on Friday. Surprise, surprise!

But, continuing on reading the article, I'd agree with the coach that a win is a win, but this was with a team that's not that good. Did Free State have a "down" game; was Olathe North playing better than normal, maybe; was Free State coming down after the game with Olathe South, maybe, too. Good teams win by whatever score when things aren't going well in a specific game. Could it be that Free State has finally gotten to the "good" level? I hope so.

Free State has never beaten Olathe East, that's "zero", "0", "zippo", times. There have been several close games in the past. Early in the decade, Olathe East considered Free State a worthy opponent because the Staters could always play them tough and close. Recently, O East has had some blow out wins, but I'm hoping that this could change this season. O East is a soccer factory. They don't always make it to the State Championship round, but you can never, ever discount them. Many in Johnson County agree that they have some of the strongest and consistent coaching around. Coach Hair is not always liked by referees, but he always has an impact on the game.

This should be a very, very interesting game. I hope that local students and fans show up. O East is as strong as stated in the article. The longer Free State stays with O East in the game, the better the chances are of a great result. In years past, victory would have been a hopeful dream, this year it is a possibility. I like the odds this time around.

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SoccerGenius 2 years, 4 months ago

We need a huge turnout at this one from the Free State fan base. Parents and player should all extend some invitations out to friends to come to the game. These girls have all done the work and deserve outstanding support. Go State!

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not_that_crazy 2 years, 4 months ago

We have a great team. This will prove if we are really big time or if our schedule is padded with easy non-conference teams. OE is the real thing.

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