BHS soccer squad ready for regional final at Liston
A 5-0 victory over Bishop-Seabury Academy has allowed the Baldwin High School soccer team to host a second postseason game tonight.
On Tuesday, the Bulldogs defeated the Seahawks with ease at Baker University's North Park field. Now they will have the chance to qualify for the state quarterfinals against Kansas City-Piper at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Baker's Liston Stadium.
"We look forward to playing in that game," coach Gus Wegner said. "It's nice to play at home at such a nice facility like that."
BHS assistant coach Matt McCune said the team enjoys playing on Liston's artificial turf, especially senior Fernando Chuery and junior Dustin Schiller.
"It seems like the kids enjoy it," McCune said. "We have a couple of attackers who are really good on the turf field."
Even though the Bulldogs won 5-0 Tuesday, senior Grant Schenewerk said the team must improve on passing to win its next game.
"We need to work on playing better as a team and crossing better," Schenewerk said. "That will take more than one day's practice though."
Tuesday's game started out as a defensive battle as Bishop-Seabury controlled the tempo and ball.
"It wasn't very easy," Wegner said of the game. "For the first 25 minutes we looked rusty, even though we have played recently. Then we had some good shots and good play after that."
Schiller changed all of that with a goal. He got open and got a shot past the goalie with 14:07 left in the first half.
Chuery added another quick goal with 13:05 left in the half to give Baldwin a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
"We started a bit slow," senior Kirby Flory said. "After the first goal, we picked it up a bit."
The second half also began slowly for both teams, until another Baldwin goal was scored. Flory connected on a shot with 23:03 left in the game to give Baldwin a 3-0 lead.
Chuery added a goal on a penalty kick later in the half, before senior Avery Baughan scored with 10:17 left to give the Bulldogs their fifth and final goal of the game.
"It's always nice, especially 5-0," McCune said of the win. "That's a pretty commanding victory, especially for the first round. Confidence always helps in sports, particularly in soccer."
Wegner said sophomore goalies Colin Busby and James Simmons each played very well Tuesday.
"Our goalkeepers did well," Wegner said. "To shut out a team is not easy. They each played well and stopped some shots."
Both teams battled chilly temperatures during the game, but Flory said he was fine while he was on the field.
"It was cold at first, but once you get warmed up it was fine," Kirby said. "Then you come back out, sit on the bench and get cold."
When asked about how well the team played, McCune didn't feel the Bulldogs played a great game, especially after they handled a good Ottawa team last week.
"I didn't think that we played all that well," McCune said. "I didn't think today was all that great. We were too focused on getting goals quickly. We didn't possess the ball very well at all. We won't be able to do that against Piper at all."
Wegner knows his team has gotten lucky in its last two games when it comes to opponents' goals, but he knows those small breaks can be the difference between a win and a loss.
"I shared with the kids that a couple of good passes or the reverse of that, can make or break you," Wegner said. "Now we are going to play only good teams. If you don't win, you go home now."
The regional final between Baldwin and Piper will begin at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Liston Stadium.