Arnold helps De Soto avenge loss to Perry-Lecompton
Josh Arnold played the roles of scorer and stopper well in the De Soto High School soccer team's 5-1 win over conference rival Perry-Lecompton last Thursday in De Soto.
Defensively, Arnold was called upon to clamp down on Kaw leading scorer Ryan Guffy. But he also took the time to score a couple of goals for the Wildcats.
"He shut down Guffy pretty well," De Soto coach Mike Murphy said of Arnold's heroics. "Guffy had that one breakaway goal. Other than that he took just one more shot on goal.
"We tried to play him with Josh (Arnold) defending in front and our sweeper getting in behind him. We double teamed him for much of the game."
Arnold rattled the Perry-Lecompton defense for the first goal of the game when he rifled a Jesse Smith assist into the right corner of the net with 25 minutes, 47 seconds left before intermission. The senior also scored the final goal of the game when Jordan Hevel found him alone in the box with 5:30 left in the contest.
Following Arnold's first goal, Guffy tied the score at 1-1 with less than eight minutes left in the first half when he split two defenders at about midfield and found the left side of the goal despite the efforts of a diving Sean Karashin.
"He is such a fast player that has a great hard and accurate shot," Murphy said. "He is also a great competitor. If he had a good supporting cast around him, they'd be a solid team."
Scott Baldwin found Hevel open just left of the net. In return Hevel fired a shot into the right corner of the goal, giving the Wildcats the lead for good at 2-1 with 3:42 left in the first 40 minutes of play.
Graham Power finished off what Kyle Bray started when he sneaked a deflected shot into the right corner of the goal with 12 seconds remaining in the first half.
Jesse Smith became the fourth Wildcat to get in on the scoring parade when he scored on a header following a shot by Arnold that was deflected by the Perry-Lecompton goalkeeper.
The Wildcats pushed the tempo of the game throughout, and out-shot the Kaws by a 34-14 margin.
De Soto ran their winning streak to six games, and their record to 9-3, Tuesday when they defeated Topeka Highland Park 4-0 at home.
The senior Hevel scored two of the goals for the Wildcats while Jesse Smith and Graham Power added a goal apiece.
Smith had a hand in both of the Wildcats first half scores. He scored the first goal of the game unassisted when he dribbled through traffic and rifled a shot into the goal.
The senior then moved through traffic later in the opening half and was credited with an assist when he connected with Power on a cross. Power finished off the goal for a 2-0 De Soto lead.
The Wildcats struggled offensively until the second half when Hevel connected for scores twice.
On one of his goals, Hevel received a pass with his back to the goal, dropped the ball down with his foot, and turned and scored.
He also scored when he dribbled the ball from the corner, came across the face of the goal, from about five yards out, and turned and fired a shot into a vacant corner the Highland Park goalkeeper left open.
Though the Wildcats scored nine goals in their past two games, it has been the defense that has Murphy smiling these days.
"We're getting the job done," he said in reference to the six-game winning streak. "We're improving on defense, and that's important for us. It was great to see the defense get the shut out tonight."
So far this season, the Wildcats have out-scored their opposition 34-18, and have posted four shut outs in the process. They have also given up one goal or less in seven of the 12 games they've played.
The game was marred by an incident in which a Highland Park player confronted Wildcat senior Kyle Bray for taunting around the four-minute mark of the second half.
A punch was thrown resulting in Bray having to receive dental treatment after having two teeth knocked out.
The Wildcats play host to Eudora Tuesday, with varsity action set to begin at about 6 p.m.