MAIZE — Brendon Moore took the words of his coach to heart. In a highly-contested match, the senior scored on a header to lift the Maize over Newton 1-0.
Despite controlling the ball for most of the game, the Eagles struggled as Newton’s defensive strategy disrupted the Eagles’ offensive flow. Maize (9-0) couldn’t get into its usual offensive rhythm because Newton crowded the goal, making it hard for the Eagles to showcase their precision passing.
So instead of using their feet, they used their heads.
Senior Matt Sherrod lofted a crossing pass to Moore, who headed the ball just past Newton keeper Casey Budd with 18:52 remaining.
“Coach Darrah always says you have to win close games on a header, because there isn’t much the defense can do about that,” Moore said.
Maize came into the game having dominated its last six opponents. The Eagles had outscored opponents 44-4, including a 10 -0 win over Goddard on Tuesday.
“We’re not going to run through everyone,” Moore said. “Newton is a good team and they gave us a good game. “We need some pressure games.”
Newton’s defensive focus also put their offense out of rhythm. The Railers (8-1) had few scoring chances in the game, but learned a lot about themselves, said coach Scott Jantzi.
“We gave the effort, we just couldn’t get things going because we didn’t want to give up quality shots,” Jantzi said. “We learned that we can play with a top-notch club. This is not the end of our season; if we can continue to make strides we have a chance at reaching the final four at state.”
And while Newton walked away with confidence, Darrah walked away thinking that his team still has improvements to make.
“We have to get more mentally tough,” Darrah said. “We got complacent. We mentally lost.”
Southeast 1, Kapaun 0 (OT) — Konnor Knoll scored in overtime to give Southeast the win.
After both teams fought off near chances in regulation Kapaun Mount Carmel (6-3, 3-1 in City League) missed its shot early in overtime when a Southeast defender was able to block a shot that had gotten past Southeast keeper Merrick Rhodes. Moments later, Knoll scored on an assist from Alfredo Jiminez.
“That defensive play really pumped us up,” said Southeast coach Thomas Rhodes.
Southeast (6-2, 5-0) remains unbeaten in the league and is one step closer to a league title.
“We had three big steps to be City champs,” Rhodes said. “We beat Northwest and we’ve beat Kapaun and now we have one left.”
Southeast will play East on Tuesday in a matchup of the only remaining teams unbeaten in league play.