De Soto soccer team cools
The De Soto High School soccer team had a busy and bumpy week, losing two games before rebounding with a lopsided road win Tuesday against Atchison.
The two loses included a 3-0 defeat at the hands of rival Mill Valley. But Wildcat coach Mike Murphy said he wasn't discouraged.
"I actually thought we didn't play all that bad Monday," he said. "We had almost as many shots on goal as they did. We just got a little overanxious. That happens sometimes.
"The kids wanted that game as much as they wanted any one this season, but it's just another game."
Murphy was more disappointed with his team's play against Perry-Lecompton, particularly its defensive breakdowns.
Perry-Lecompton's Brian Guffy displayed his firepower in handing De Soto a 5-2 loss Thursday and ended their hopes of an undefeated season in the process.
He also exposed holes that the Wildcats will want to address as the season progresses. Guffy had a hand in all five goals the Kaws scored. He scored three goals himself and assisted on the others.
"We just didn't do a good job of marking him up," Murphy said. "We didn't do a good job marking up their runners coming through either. He's always involved in the offense and does a great job moving around the field. He gets his touches."
De Soto's Jesse Smith tried to stay with Guffy but was able to knock only two balls into the goal in the second half. He scored on a penalty kick and in the open field.
"Jesse needs help," Murphy said. "I'd like to see Jesse (Smith) get more touches. It doesn't help when you have guys that are standing around. If you stand around too much, other teams are going to beat you."
Everything came together for the Wildcats Tuesday at Atchison in a 9-0 win.
Smith scored three times for the Wildcats' Josh Arnold and Kyle Bray added two each, and Jordan Hevel and Zach Bader each scored once in the rout.
A lot of De Soto's recent woes weren't too much of a concern for Murphy because he knows they're issues that can be fixed.
"We're just not playing in good position," he said. "It's just chaotic out there right now. We'll get it figured out. It seems like this happens every year. Then we move people around, and they just funnel into a position."
Murphy said he would start making adjustments by getting more experience back on defense. He is also looking into pulling the forwards back into the middle and widening the wings so they can attack like forwards.
"The ball in the center of the defense is not going well for us right now," he said.
The Wildcats have nearly a week to work on their game as they ready for a match that should be a treat for local soccer fans. Defending state 4A champion Kansas City Christian visits Tuesday. Murphy said the visiting team lost many key players from a year ago but should still field a strong team.
"Their JV team played the same style," he said. "They're big. They're fast, and they play aggressively. We just need to limit their number of open shots and hope we get a few to fall in.
"I think we'll play well."