Wildcats advance to regional finals
Coming into Monday's 4A regional semifinal match against Basehor-Linwood, Jeff Cooper and Peter Crall had a combined two goals between them this season.
But they provided all the offense De Soto needed to advance to Thursday afternoon's regional final, against Topeka Hayden (5-12), which defeated Mill Valley 1-0 Tuesday.
Cooper scored the winning goal in the 19th minute of the game when he lobbed a shot over Bobcat goalkeeper Charles Millison to put De Soto up 1-0.
Crall then added an insurance goal with 37:21 remaining in the game when he pulled the trigger on a loose ball that had glanced off Millison.
"We played well," said De Soto coach Mike Murphy. "A couple of guys that hadn't scored a lot this season stepped up for us offensively against Basehor."
The Wildcats did play well, but missed on several point-blank scoring opportunities. They moved the ball well, but just couldn't finish.
De Soto improved its record to 10-6-1 by out shooting the Basehor-Linwood 16-5 in the first half and 28-11 for the game.
According to Murphy, part of the team's inability to finish could have been because it was playing Basehor-Linwood for the third time this season.
"We may have become too comfortable after playing them twice earlier this season," said Murphy. "We became careless at times, and we won't be able to do that against the good teams."
And the Cats will face a good team Thursday, Murphy said.
"You can't just look at Topeka Hayden's record, because they play mostly 5A and some 6A teams," he said.
Hayden belongs to the tough Centennial conference that includes the likes of Highland Park, Emporia and Topeka Seaman.
Murphy said watching Hayden will remind fans a lot of Lansing, but without the experience.
"They move the ball a lot like Lansing," he said.