Offensive firepower helps BHS rout Paola
As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours.
After an offensive drought for its opening two games, the Baldwin High School soccer team's offense found the magical rain cloud Tuesday night. The Bulldogs (1-2) routed Paola 9-3 at home.
"Today's game was an exciting one," said senior Dustin Schiller, who scored four goals in the contest. "A high scoring game like that is always fun to watch and to play in."
Baldwin's rainstorm of goals came early and late in the game, with a slight lull in the middle. BHS scored four goals within the first 20 minutes of Tuesday's victory. Schiller tallied a hat trick by halftime while junior Colin Busby helped BHS take a 4-0 lead.
Schiller came into this season as the leading returner in goals scored, but he took the unselfish approach after the win Tuesday.
"It's always nice to help the team out with a couple of goals and assists," Schiller said.
Paola did add a pair of goals before halftime, while many of the Bulldogs' starters rested late in the half. However, the starters returned after the break and poured on the victory.
Early in the second half, sophomore Levi Moore gave Baldwin a 5-2 lead off an assist from Schiller. Soon after senior Zach Baughan scored his first-ever goal.
"That's the first time I've scored in high school," Baughan said. "It felt really good. It's exciting to get a goal for once."
Paola answered with its third and final goal. Only bad part for the Panthers, Baldwin wasn't quite done scoring. The Bulldogs added three goals during the final five minutes of the game.
Senior Alex Silva scored a pair of goals to help the Bulldogs rout the Panthers. Schiller, who enjoyed the Bulldogs' first victory of the season, made the other goal and assisted Silva's goals.
"Winning today was really important," Schiller said. "We needed to get that first win early, so we can build up some confidence going into the bulk of the season."
Coach Gus Wegner was happy with how well his team played Tuesday, especially late in the game.
"During the last 15 to 20 minutes, they looked really well and were passing the ball well," Wegner said. "They looked very sharp and I was very pleased."
He was especially happy about how well the Bulldogs bounced back from their first two losses. BHS was beaten by De Soto 4-1 and by Turner 6-0.
Wegner said he wasn't sure how the team would play Tuesday, but as the Bulldogs kept kicking the ball into the net, he began to feel more comfortable.
"I was very pleased," Wegner said. "I think everyone was a little apprehensive, because we had only scored one goal in two games. The kids have tried hard, but the chemistry wasn't there, but it came around during the last part of this game. Scoring nine goals was nice for us."
Baughan said the Bulldogs were in better spirits Tuesday night. He was thrilled to get the first win of the season and hopes it helps build some momentum for the rest of the year.
"It was good to win," Baughan said. "It was a lot of fun out there. It's not fun to lose and the first two teams were good. We just stepped it up today and played a lot better."
Wegner said the Bulldogs executed the three keys to the game against Paola.
"I said the keys to the game were three things: to limit our offside calls, eliminate hand balls and using the width of the field. We had 11 offside calls in two games and we had one tonight. That made a big difference. In the first two games, we gave up four penalty kicks. Tonight we only had one, which helped. They passed it well tonight to the center and the wings. I also asked them to talk a little bit more and they did that as well."
Baldwin played at Louisburg Wednesday, but the results weren't available at press time. BHS will next play at 4 p.m. Monday at Eudora.