Goddard’s 3-2 record might not raise too many eyebrows at first glance, but the way in which it was achieved just might.
The Lions advanced to the final of their tournament last weekend before falling 5-0 to Bishop Carroll, ranked ninth in the state in preseason.
In the semifinal last Friday, Goddard (12-6 in 2011) edged Rose Hill (preseason No. 3 in Class 4A) 2-1.
The Lions only had six shots in the match, and neither team scored in the second half.
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His team has thrived by making the most of its shots on goal, first-year coach Ryan Rooney said.
“It is efficiency,” he said. “We’re not going to outshoot anyone. We don’t need a whole bunch of shots. Our defense can gut it out.”
Freshman Makenzie Klaasen set up senior Katelyn James, who earned all-state recognition a year ago, for Goddard’s first goal. She then scored the eventual game-winner unassisted.
Goddard bounced back Tuesday night from the loss to Carroll, battling Salina Central to a scoreless tie through 78½ minutes until Klaasen pulled it out with 1:30 to play. She charged in from the right side and kicked it past Mustangs goalkeeper Mallory Wiggins off an assist by freshman Maria Casenove.
Rooney came to Goddard after serving as a Northwest assistant. He said he’s impressed by Klaasen.
However, Goddard’s upper-class experience is also important, Rooney said.
“The seniors lead, and it’s on the field, and it’s off the field, but Makenzie can just go, go, go,” he said. “She’s just as fast without the ball as she is with the ball.”
Northwest progress — Last fall, coach Bobby Bribiesca’s Northwest boys team ran the table in winning the Class 6A title with a spotless 21-0-0 record.
The Grizzlies girls have won three straight after a season-opening 2-1 overtime loss March 27 to Salina Central in South High’s Titan Classic. Since then, Northwest has victories over Dodge City (1-0), Heights (6-2) and South (10-0).
Northwest will play host to Emporia tonight at 6:15.
Bribiesca said adjustments must be made between coaching boys and coaching girls.
“The guys and the girls work just as hard, no question,” he said, “but the (girls) game is just a little slower. I treat the girls the same I do the guys. They work just as hard.”
Sticking to basics will lead to success, he said.
“We learned from the (South) tournament that one goal is enough to win,” Bribiesca said. “Defending well, no mistakes in the back, and when you get a chance you put it in.”