FSHS soccer completes 2-1 victory

Frustration was starting to set in for Free State High’s boys soccer players Wednesday night. The ball was everywhere on their attacking third of the field, except inside the net.

The Firebirds outshot Shawnee Mission North by 17, but it took a late penalty kick from junior Will Laufer to preserve a 2-1 victory at FSHS. The first 29 minutes of the game were played Tuesday before it was suspended because of lightning.

“We didn’t play well,” said sophomore Heitor Nazareth, who celebrated his birthday by scoring the game’s first goal with one minute left in the first half. “I thought we just didn’t execute very well.”

The Indians tied the game with a goal in the 70th minute on a free kick from junior Saul Silva.

That set up a furious rally for the Firebirds (3-1-1), as they turned the pressure up with their attackers. With under five minutes remaining, senior Joseph Larkin stole the ball from SM North defenders, then sprinted up the right side and passed the ball in the box to freshman Alejandro Carballido, who drew a penalty kick on a sliding tackle before he could get a shot off.

“I realized their center back was kind of slow at deciding what to do,” Larkin said. “The (poor) pass, I just went for it, and the center back had no idea what hit him.”

Laufer took the penalty kick and pushed it through on the right side past a diving goalkeeper to give the Firebirds their game-winning goal.

“I’ve done it a billion times,” Laufer said of thoughts before the penalty kick. “I’m going low either corner and I saw him take a little bit of a lean to that (left) side, so I just went the other way.”

Nazareth scored in the 39th minute when he collided with SM North’s goalkeeper Kenny Herron chasing a through ball pass from senior Randall Schmidt, which was intended for another teammate, and he stayed on his feet afterward to knock the ball into the empty net.

The Firebirds will face Olathe Northwest at 6:30 tonight at FSHS.