Blanking the Titans

Special to the JournalSeptember 20, 2013 

For the first 20 minutes Lee’s Summit West and Lee’s Summit played a fairly even soccer match. But then things began to unravel a bit for the Titans, and it lead to the Tigers snatching a 2-0 win in front of its home crowd Sept. 18.

West junior starting forward Tony Mok drew a yellow card midway through the second half. As he was leaving the field, the referee flung a second yellow and the dreaded red card for remarks he made, thereby ending Mok’s night and forcing the Titans to play the rest of the game a player short.

“That wasn’t us, and we made it clear,” Titans head coach Chris Brizendine said of his team’s uncharacteristic play in the first half. “The guys who were out there in the second half, I think it was evident that it meant something to them to leave everything out there. They were working their tails off. Regardless of how it was going to end, I’m proud of their second half and the effort they put forth. We build from it, we learn from it, and we move on.”

The Tigers, 6-2, didn’t quite benefit from the man advantage right away. The first goal came about 10 minutes later on a penalty kick from Aaron La Paz, but a goal was called back earlier when Lee’s Summit was called offsides on a corner kick.

“I told them at halftime, I felt like even after the red card and the goal, we played like we were down a man,” Tigers head coach Dave Wiebenga said. “I thought West did a nice job of trying to keep possession of the ball. I told the guys at half I was pretty disappointed in that and we weren’t taking advantage of the opportunity that was presented to us.”

Just two minutes into the second half, the Tigers put the game out of reach for the shorthanded Titans when Dalton Souder scored off of a feed from Jake Pycior. Even with nearly a full half to play, the two-goal deficit was going to be tough for West to overcome.

“Once we got that first goal, we knew West wasn’t going to back down,” Souder said. “It’s a big game. They weren’t going to let down, so we knew we had to come out that second half and get one more to put the nail in the coffin.”

The Tigers defense went to work led by senior Clinton Boyles. He knew it was important to not only get the win over their cross-town rival, but to preserve the shutout over a Titan team that had started the season winning its first seven games.

“To defend as a team like that, it’s really the first solid performance we’ve put together a whole game as a team,” Boyles said. “To come in and shut them out is huge when they’re one of the top teams in the state. We try to take pride in ourselves as a team that tries to stay cool and calm throughout the game.”

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