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High School Sports

High School Sports

SM West routs Lawrence High soccer, 7-0

Lawrence High goalie Alex Ewy dives but can't stop a shot from Shawnee Mission West during the first half on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at Lawrence High School.

Lawrence High goalie Alex Ewy dives but can't stop a shot from Shawnee Mission West during the first half on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at Lawrence High School.

May 9, 2012, 12:00 a.m. Updated May 10, 2012, 11:27 a.m.

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This season hasn’t been easy for first-year head coach Janna Kepler and Lawrence High’s girls soccer team.

The Lions often have been knocked around on the pitch and Tuesday night’s 7-0 home loss to Shawnee Mission West was no different.

Lawrence High forward Keeli Billings works for control against Shawnee Mission West defender Whitney Crow during the first half on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at Lawrence High School.

Lawrence High forward Keeli Billings works for control against Shawnee Mission West defender Whitney Crow during the first half on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at Lawrence High School.

Molly Norburg scored for the Vikings in the second minute and roughly midway through the first half, SMW (10-4-2) had added goals from Chloe De Pena, Jordan Hairgrove, Jess Hole and Morgan Mauck to take a 5-0 lead.

Another score from Hole in the 33rd minute and an early second-half goal from Sydney Miramontez gave the visitors a seven-goal victory.

It was the eighth time LHS (2-13) has been shut out in 2012 and Lawrence’s ninth loss by four or more goals.

Senior captain Laura Falkenstien said the Lions are doing their best to remain positive.

“It’s definitely difficult,” Falkenstien said. “Keeping the girls working hard and working with each other isn’t always easy.”

Amid their struggles, Kepler said now isn’t a time for new tactics.

“In times like these, when you go back to practice you have to work on fundamentals,” the coach said, “the things that the girls can control, the things that they can do well when they’re thinking.”

One of just three seniors on the team — Lauren Fleming and Meredith Warinner being the others — Falkenstien said Lawrence’s younger players are at least picking up lessons in the difficult Sunflower League that will make them better down the line.

“They learn from mistakes every game,” the senior said.

They find ways to make positive plays, too. Juniors Abby Wilson and Ella Magerl and sophomores Danielle and Addison Campbell did their best to thwart SMW when they could, and other times slowed the Vikings down by disrupting passes. For the most part, however, West was too precise and overpowering for LHS to do anything about it.

The Lions only managed two shots (one from Warinner and the other from Falkenstien) and they both came on free kicks in the second half.

Meanwhile, the Vikings took 41 shots, putting 28 on goal. LHS sophomore goalkeeper Alex Ewy saved 19 of them and two others went off the post.

Kepler said the sophomore keeper, who also played as a freshman, knows this season is a learning experience and Ewy has made a lot of gains in her two seasons.

“Last year I think that there were some times where the emotions of being back there and being the last person got the best of her,” Kepler said. “This year, it hasn’t been that way. She’s been able to bounce back up and get after it again.”

Falkenstien agreed that Ewy has grown as a player with all the shots she has faced.

“We’d easily get mercy-ruled without her,” Falkenstien said. “She makes great saves every game.”

The Lions close their regular season at home on Friday against Topeka.

— A previous version of this story has been updated.

Comments

cato_the_elder 2 years, 3 months ago

The reason that Lawrence schools consistently lose to Johnson County schools in soccer is that Lawrence youth soccer is 100% anti-competitive. Kids aren't allowed to keep score, and are punished if they do; there are no goalies; if one team scores too many goals, the other team gets to add additional players; if one player scores too many goals himself or herself, then he or she has to sit out; and so on. It's ridiculous.

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SoccerGenius 2 years, 3 months ago

Cato, you are partially correct. Only it has more to do with the numbers of players who play on competitive premier teams. Many Lawrence parents understandably do not want to travel to KC for games and tournaments. It is a huge time committment. You can't play at the highest level by just staying in Lawrence. SMW clearly has a higher percentage of players who grew up playing premier than LHS. Same could be said for Free State. Keeping score and the goalie issue has nothing to do with it. If you want to improve and compete with the best you have to travel outside of Larryville.

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cato_the_elder 2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the clarification. I wondered whether competitive soccer for kids was available outside Lawrence, and I'm glad it is. It's still a shame, though, that realistically it's available only to those families who can afford to do it.

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not_that_crazy 2 years, 3 months ago

Ewy is one of the best keepers that we have played, and one of the best in the league. She was outstanding against Free State and it is clear she gets tested every game.

Good to hear Aldrich is back, I heard that she was out for the season.

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sportingfan 2 years, 3 months ago

Aldrich is not back. She didn't play. Thats also not Gretchen in the picture above. I don't mean to be a pain. I appreciate the coverage. By the way you can ask any parent at the game for help if you need it.

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skittles 2 years, 3 months ago

I was thinking the same thing. I appeciate the coverage, but... The picture is of another freshman, K. Billings, who has been doing a good job along with freshman S. Keller this year. Get better Miss Aldrich.

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Vaildini 2 years, 3 months ago

this is a young team that will get better. Keep working LHS and lets make a run at state.

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