Holden finally finds goal in rout
Soccer team wins three in a row
Jordan Holden was expected to be a scorer of the De Soto High School's inaugural girls soccer team but saw several excellent goal opportunities just miss through the Wildcats first six matches.
In the seventh match, she not only scored, but also produced what proved to be the game-winning goal in the first half of a 6-0 triumph over Lawrence Bishop Seabury.
The game winner came off an indirect restart after Jeni Hill got her the ball.
De Soto coach Darren Erpelding said the junior has a powerful foot.
"Jordan has had some great shots on goal from restarts," the coach said, "But she finally got one to go in. She is a great weapon to have when we have a dead ball from 40 yards in. Being able to score from that far out really opens things up for our forwards."
Katie Beck gave De Soto a little insurance when she beat the Seabury goalkeeper to upper corner of the goal's backside. The score was her first goal since the season-opening 3-1 win over Topeka Cair Paravel.
"It was a great shot," Erpelding recalled. "Both of Katie's goals (this season) have been highlight material."
Nicole Radcliffe scored the next two goals to up her team-leading total to eight on the year. She scored her first goal of the game with the team's first header off a corner kick from Holden, and her second came on a breakaway.
Roxanne Grizzle gave De Soto a 5-0 halftime advantage when she took a switch from Holden, went right with the ball and played the ball into the left side of the net.
Hill scored the second half's only goal with about 14 minutes left in the contest.
"In the second half, they made it tough for us to score by packing it in," Erpelding said. "I thought we did a pretty nice job of in trying to spread them out and then looking for our seams."
The win was the second straight for the Wildcats and upped their record to 4-3 on the year. It marked the first time since the season-opening win that the Wildcats are above .500.
Erpelding credited his midfielder's ability to distribute the ball efficiently to his forwards as a key to the win.
"We finally did what we have worked on all year at practice, and it paid off," Erpelding said. "Our defense did a great job of clearing the ball when necessary. We also did a great job of settling and playing the ball to our midfielder's feet when the opportunity presented itself."
Erpelding added that the Wildcats were happy with their performance but weren't satisfied.
"They want more," he said. "They want to become so much better and put a stamp on the program."
De Soto kept the modest winning streak going Tuesday when it earned a 3-0 shutout at Maranatha (3-5).
Hill started the scoring for De Soto nine minutes into the game. With her back to the goal, the sophomore received a pass from Grizzle and turned and fired. The ball careened off the right post and found its way into the net.
The 1-0 score held up until 14:17 seconds remained in the second half when Radcliffe tallied her ninth goal of the season.
Grizzle keyed the goal by rifling a cross toward Julie Bray. When the freshman realized she wouldn't be able to do much with the ball, she headed it toward Radcliffe, who finished from about 10 yards away.
Thirty seconds later Holden received a pass along the right sideline from about 25 yards out. Her shot sailed over the goalkeeper's head and into the net.
The Wildcats out shot the Eagles 14-5.
Wildcat goalkeeper Megen Bedford received credit for the shut out after she accounted for three saves. Erpelding said the freshman came out of goal on several occasions to take away Eagle shot opportunities by diving at her opponent's feet.
"We played better than I first thought," Erpelding said of his team's efforts. "We were flat when we came out in the second half. But then a switch turned on. We really dominated them over the final 30 minutes of the game."
The Wildcats, 5-3, are in action again at 6 p.m. Thursday when they are the host of Kansas City Harmon.