Falls 7-2 at home vs. Lawrence

Sometimes it takes more than just talent and athleticism to fashion a strong sports’ season.

The Leavenworth High School boys’ soccer team has plenty of athletic ability and enough skill sets to put together a good run of play, but with the regular season winding down, the time is here to launch into that mode.

On Tuesday night, the Pioneers had a chance to kick start a late season push against the Lawrence Lions at Pioneer  Stadium, but instead of a win against a comparable team, Leavenworth was undone by a bad run of play early in the second half and fell 7-2. 

Leavenworth (2-11, 0-7) were beset by a number of errors and an inability to sustain momentum.

“We don’t have 18 kids that want to put in the work at practice,” LVHS head coach Derek Wilson said. “At the game, they want to, but at practice is where it starts. It’s been an issue all year.

“We don’t know how to play an 80-minute game. We play good stretches every single game, but we have not put in a full 80 minutes. Unfortunately, it goes back to the past of this program, that once they get scored on they automatically trigger that ‘this is how it’s going to go again.’ It’s built into the DNA of both programs here. That’s what i am working to get rid of.”

Lansing cracked the scoring column in the 13th minute and the Pioneers were really unable to garner any type of attack, not getting any notable shot attempts at goal until the 22nd minute.

The two teams battled back-and-forth before Jake Dodd tied the game in the 35th minute and that seemed to inspire the Pioneers.

Yet, their inability to maintain a run of play nipped them when it counted and a late strike by Lawrence, just a minute before halftime, gave the Lions the edge, 2-1, at the break.

“Just because a goal gets scored, doesn’t mean anything,” Wilson said. “You get a goal and that’s when goals get scored (afterward). I don’t think they relax, it’s just the silly goals we let in. The mental mistakes.”

The Lions then tacked on two goals within the first few minutes out of the locker room to go up 4-1 and they saw that edge increased to 6-1 as the game wound down behind some exceptional shooting.

“We let them beat us with their speed and get that corner and that’s where they were getting those angle shots,” Wilson said. “You can’t let them get that corner like that. They won’t get seven like that (normally).”

Leavenworth added a goal in the 65th minute after a penalty on Lawrence drew the spot kick for LVHS, which Justis Simon buried to pull the Pioneers to within 6-2.

Then again, the Lions responded with a goal shortly after to close the scoring.