Soccer falls to KC Christian 1-0 in double overtime
In similar late-game dramatics that ended the De Soto football game Friday, the Wildcat soccer team had a thriller of its own Monday against KC Christian.
Unfortunately for those in attendance at a packed De Soto stadium, it was Christian who walked away smiling.
The Wildcats lost 1-0 after 96 minutes of intense soccer.
“I’m proud of how the guys played tonight,” coach Darren Erpelding said. “Christian came out and dominated us in the early parts of the game in the first half. I took the starters out and kind of laid into them, and they responded. They were much better after that.”
The Wildcats were shaky at the back to open the game as KC Christian midfielder Ben Kerley made several dangerous runs through De Soto’s half.
Goalkeeper Tyler Buffkin remained strong between the posts, however, and kept Christian scoreless. Buffkin’s highlight was a leaping, full-extension save to his right after Kerley ripped a shot from just outside the 18-yard box with just more than 27 minutes left in the first half.
The Wildcats opened the second half pressing. KC Christian allowed several good opportunities as De Soto was able to exploit Christian’s slower back line and create breakaways. Jordan Riffel, who was injured by Christian’s goalkeeper as he rushed out of his box, teamed up nicely with forward Alex Henning, but neither was able to score.
“You just can’t miss three breakaways and expect to win the game,” Erpelding said. “We had to finish our chances, and we didn’t.”
Perhaps the best chance came with eight minutes left in regulation. Henning got past the Christian center backs and earned a two-on-one. With Octavio Villa on his left, Henning elected to shoot, but missed just wide.
Regulation ended after 80 minutes with the score still knotted at zeros. The first overtime couldn’t produce any chances as the players appeared slightly fatigued and were unable to keep possession of the ball.
Then, with just four minutes left in the second overtime, Kerley beat two De Soto defenders on the far baseline and slotted the ball past Buffkin into the side netting for the victory.
“Five of our guys thought the ball went out of bounds as (Kerley) dribbled,” Erpelding said. “But that’s not an excuse. We had plenty of chances to win the game.”
De Soto also took on Olathe Northwest Saturday on the road and lost, 4-0. The Wildcats, though, beat Baldwin Thursday on the road, 3-0. De Soto had a one-goal lead at the half before hitting two goals late to pull away from the Bulldogs. De Soto will next play at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Eudora.