KC Christian runs De Soto ragged
De Soto won its race against Mother Nature Tuesday night, finishing a contest under threatening skies.
K.C. Christian won pretty much everything else though, and even the deluge that followed 20 minutes after the 6-0 steamrolling couldn't wash away the pain and disappointment from a week gone totally wrong.
Losers of a 2-1 match in double overtime at Paola last Thursday, De Soto struggled mightily with Christian, failing to seriously challenge the goalie all night while slowly wearing down in the face of Christian's consistent attack. Even De Soto's good defense eventually wore down.
"Our defense played pretty well, but they just ran us ragged," Erpelding said. "Anytime we get down to attack at their end, we'd make a mistake or a bad pass. We just never threatened them."
Early in last Thursday's Paola game, problems were evident. Larry Price scored De Soto's only goal early in the first as the Panthers matched, then topped the Wildcats enthusiasm and heart.
Despite numerous chances to take a lead in second quarter and later to end it and stay undefeated with a goal in overtime, the Wildcats couldn't catch a break.
Shot after shot flew wide, high or were whistled dead due to offsides.
Finally Tim Oswald gave Paola a chance it couldn't miss. With less than two minutes remaining in the second overtime period, Oswald crashed into a Panther 10 yards from the goal as a pass flew in from the corner.
A penalty kick was awarded and junior goalie Jake Sosna could do little to stop it.
Tuesday against KC Christian Erpelding said the effort and intensity was better. But down the stretch, intensity may have been the problem.
After Christian defeated the Wildcats twice last year, including in a 4-0 season ending loss, De Soto had the rematch marked on the calendar all summer.
And for 35 minutes of the first half, the meeting lived up to its billing. Christian clearly had the advantage from the whistle, but De Soto's defense refused to buckle, surviving five shots on goal.
Sosna, who emerged as one of the team's few bright spots in the dismal week, met all challengers. Finally, with 4:50 left in the first half, Christian's relentless offense found paydirt. Midfielder Justin Beck approached on Sosna's right hand, got him to commit and whisked the ball into the left hand corner for a 1-0 lead.
Tarnu Mulbah, a quick Christian forward, got in the mix as well. Fast and talented enough to warrant constant attention, he wore down De Soto's defenders and finally scored less than two minutes into the second half.
"They just kept playing long balls and we had to keep sprinting back," senior defender Lance Williams said. "It gets tough. It's tiring. It put a lot of pressure on us because the ball was always in the defensive third."
Even though nearly 25 minutes of scoreless soccer followed, Christian was constantly furthering its advantage. De Soto never managed a reliable offense and the defenders spent what gas they had left keeping the score from growing.
Sosna drew a yellow card with 34:15 remaining and had to be replaced in goal by Zach England for a penalty kick. Beck's attempt bounced off the sidebar, however.
The Wildcat's didn't remain so lucky. Mulbah made it 3-0 with 5:09 remaining and three more Christian balls made it through the spent Wildcat defense in the final game's final two minutes.
"It's real disappointing," Williams said. "The loss on Thursday (to Paola) was ridiculous. This one I can understand though," he said. "I still don't accept it. We can do better. We're going to go to Baldwin on Monday, forget this game and win that one."