SMW overwhelms LHS soccer, 11-1
Multiple times throughout the second half Thursday night, Lawrence High’s girls soccer players held their heads in disbelief.
The Lions were down three goals to Shawnee Mission West at halftime, and after the break the hole grew deeper, almost by the minute. Before the teams could complete a regulation game at LHS, the 10-goal mercy rule ended it at 11-1 in the 75th minute.
The multi-talented Vikings scored four goals in the first seven minutes of the second half, sending the Lions (3-3) into a downward spiral that conjured up memories of last spring’s one-win season.
Second-year Lawrence coach Justin Young knows this group is far better than the team that struggled throughout 2013, but he also saw how things got out of hand so quickly in the second half.
“It’s just the stress of having a team that’s just constantly pushing it,” Young said of facing SMW. “They’re never gonna let up, they’re always going forward, they always have options, they’re always gonna stretch you; there’s always gonna be 100 percent pressure without any kind of breaks, like some of the other teams we have played, where there is a little space.”
Lions junior Keeli Billings, who scored off a pass from sophomore Kennedi Wright-Conklin in the first half to make it 3-1, said the Vikings played a style that allowed them to pound the LHS goal, pour it on and score eight unanswered.
“They were just really quick on their feet, and they were able to make combinations around us that we could’ve easily stepped in on,” Billings said. “But they were just really fast and quick to go to goal.”
The Vikings’ Morgan Mauck and Hannah Miller each scored hat tricks against Lawrence, while Sinclaire Miramontez added two more goals, and Jordan Tyler, Emily Franchett and Delaney Griffin each sent one into the back of the net.
As the SMW lead grew, it was difficult for the Lions to avoid feeling demoralized. So Young had a very specific message for his players afterward.
“Internally, look back at the game,” he told the Lions. “Decide, did you give 100 percent? If you can answer the question yes, great. Bring it tomorrow, and continue. If you can say no, internally decide what it is that you didn’t do. Where can you step up? Where can you assist the team better?”
Billings said the Vikings caught the Lions off guard with their onslaught to open the second half, and in the future they have to stay positive when they fall behind or give up back-to-back goals in a matter of minutes. The best thing to remember, Billings said, was that LHS competed with SMW early on.
“Anything we did wrong,” she added, “we can take it and fix it for any games in the future.”