Take your pick of recent happenings for the Eisenhower Tigers – defeating the crosstown rival, four consecutive shutouts, victories in eight of their last 10 games – and the seeds of a breakthrough boys soccer season have clearly been sown.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Eisenhower coach Brandon Sommer said.
The Tigers improved to 10-5 on Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over Goddard. Junior forward Kwame Parry’s team-leading ninth goal provided the offense and junior goalkeeper Trey Greening kept the net clean to go with shutouts over Andover Central, Derby and Buhler the last two weeks.
“It’s been a combination of things,” Sommer said. “One game it’s the defense, another it’s controlling the ball and putting the other team on its back foot. That definitely takes everybody.”
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After going 14-33-4 the past three seasons, Eisenhower has found success with a blend of experienced seniors and young contributors with deceptive skills. Five of the Tigers’ seven seniors have played since they were freshmen. Three are four-year varsity starters.
Eisenhower’s captain is senior Jordan Greene, an athletic defender who has used his height and jumping ability to impact plays near the goal. His consistency has been complemented by season forward Gavin Ford, a scorer, distributor and free-kick specialist whom Sommer said has made significant improvement since his freshman season.
Sommer also likes the versatility of outside backs Mason Perkins and Cole Streit. Streit is another of Eisenhower’s four-year starters.
“Those two give our team some dimension,” Sommer said. “They can stay back and lock up the box or range forward and give us another attacking possibility.”
Parry, a Campus transfer, creates issues for opponents with his speed and left-footed kicking. He also has five assists heading into Eisenhower’s regular-season home finale Thursday against Valley Center, a pink-out game to benefit Victory in the Valley.
“I don’t want to let the guys settle just yet,” Sommer said. “But we’ve put a lot of work into preparing for this season, from when we started offseason work in June to even leadership training with our seniors last fall.
“It’s nice to have the results. The past three years of being down, it’s been tough for them to keep getting back up, but I’m proud of them for sticking with it.”
Kapaun looks for a share – Bishop Carroll secured at least a share of the City League title on Tuesday with its 10-0 victory over Southeast. It marked the second consecutive unbeaten season in league play for the Golden Eagles, who are 12-1-3 and 6-0-2 in the City League.
Kapaun Mount Carmel has a shot to share the title with a victory on Thursday at North.
Despite losing to Carroll 2-0 in the season opener, the Crusaders will enter their final regular-season game at 11-3-1 and 6-1 in league play. City League athletic director J Means said the league applies the Kansas State High School Activities Association’s postseason seeding criteria to its league standings, awarding two points for a victory, one for a tie and zero for a loss.
Carroll finished City League play with 14 points. Kapaun is second with 12. North (12-2-1, 5-1-1) would finish second with a victory over the Crusaders.