The 1-1 tie between Leavenworth and Lansing on Wednesday night at Pioneer Stadium may not look glorious in the box score, but everyone who was there would say they were biting their nails for much of the match.
Each of the two overtimes saw new determination and energy from both squads and the fans in the stands.
Both teams had opportunities to score late in the game, including a shot by Leavenworth senior Cameron Hayes that went over the goal only about 20 seconds into the second overtime and a shot by Lansing that bounced off the top post and barely stayed out of the goal after jolting straight down to the turf.
“We caught a few breaks,” said Leavenworth head coach Ken Lott. “I think our main concern was their speed they put up front. We had to change our formation toward the end of the two overtimes.”
The Pioneers keep getting closer and closer to beating the Lansing Lions.
“We've been coming along a lot the last three years,” Lott said. “The first year we lost 9-2 and last year it was 2-1. We are getting closer.”
Lott credited the team's work ethic during the offseason.
“We put in a tremendous effort,” he said. “We've been putting hard work throughout the summer and hitting the weights and getting some conditioning, so we are hoping to get over that hump.”
The first goal of the game came in the middle of the first half when Hayes put one through to give the Pioneers the 1-0 lead.
It remained that way until late in the first half when Lansing senior Tyler Fox tied it up with about two minutes left.
Despite several opportunities for both teams, no one was able to put one home the rest of the game.
Lott said both teams were so determined that neither could finish it off on the offensive side.
The Pioneers travel to Bonner Springs today for their second game of the season at 6 p.m.
Lansing is off until Sept. 10 when it plays at Topeka Seaman at 6 p.m.