Bulldogs nearly defeat De Soto, drop two contests
Through 60 minutes of action, the Baldwin High School soccer team looked as if it might pull off an upset at De Soto Tuesday evening.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the next 20 minutes went in the Wildcats’ way. The Wildcats scored four late goals to win 4-1 over the Bulldogs, who fell to 2-2 on the season.
“We were leading 1-0 through 60 minutes,” coach Mark Joslyn said. “We were sitting back playing defense and they got a nice ball that scored. Then things kind of took off and it ended up 4-1.
“It was still a loss, but much more competitive than 4-1,” he said. “When you’re ahead after 60 minutes, you’re doing something right. They (De Soto) were sweating. De Soto didn’t know what happened.”
The Bulldogs scored their lone goal during the middle of the first half. Sophomore Austin Kraus used his left foot to boot the ball past the Wildcats’ goalkeeper. It was the first goal of the season for Kraus, who plays defender for the Bulldogs.
“Austin had a really nice shot in the first half to put us up 1-0,” Joslyn said. “It was a set piece. I think maybe a corner kick. He had a nice left footer and he is a right-footed kid. He was about 20 yards out. It was a great goal.”
The Bulldogs and Wildcats will rematch in Baldwin City on Oct. 19. It will be the Bulldogs’ final regular season game of the season. Although his team lost, Joslyn was pleased with the players’ performances Tuesday.
“We played excellent,” he said. “It was a good game for us, because they are one of the top teams in the state. We played much better than we did against Spring Hill. We connected better and had a lot better passing and movement. It was a lot better team effort.”
Baldwin traveled to Spring Hill on Thursday for its third game of the season. The contest was delayed because of weather, but it was completed. Spring Hill won the game 5-0.
“As expected, this was a significant challenge for our team, as Spring Hill is a very talented and organized squad,” Joslyn said. “It was a strange game as Spring Hill took only two more shots on goal than we did and only three more corners. They are an aggressive, counter-attacking team and well schooled in converting on set-pieces. We learned a lot from the game and will work over the next two weeks on defensive shape and set-piece defense.”
In the first half, Baldwin controlled the ball and produced several scoring chances, but couldn't convert them into goals. Spring Hill scored the opening goal around the 20-minute mark. The Broncos added a second goal before halftime to lead 2-0.
Early in the second half, Baldwin took two shots, but both bounced off of the cross bar. Spring Hill won two penalty kicks and added three goals late in the contest.
“The kids played very hard throughout the game, which is a testament to their character,” Joslyn said. “We have a competitive group and it showed on the field, regardless of the result.”
The Bulldogs will host Eudora at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the field north of BHS.
“We have some time to settle down a bit and work on some stuff,” Joslyn said. “We still need to keep improving and getting better each day.”