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Wildcats suffer first loss with setback at Spring Hill

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg goalie Carson Buffington comes out for save Wednesday during the Wildcats’ road contest at Spring Hill. The Wildcats fell to Spring Hill 4-2, which is their first loss of the season.

SPRING HILL – The Louisburg girls soccer team had been unstoppable going into Wednesday’s road match with Spring Hill.

Louisburg won its first four matches to start the season and did so by outscoring its opponents by 19 goals. The Wildcats were on cruise control, but came up against a talented Spring Hill squad that tested them in every facet of the game.

Although the Wildcats took an early lead, and were in a tie match late in the contest, the Broncos used two late goals to give Louisburg its first defeat of the season in a 4-2 loss at Spring Hill High School.

“I thought our girls played their tails off,” Louisburg coach Kyle Conley said. “We played with a massive amount of energy and played really hard. Spring Hill is a quality team. In fact, they one of the best teams we will face all year. Not only were they very skilled, but they had speed a lot of positions. The game gave us a lot to work on and things for us to improve on. I am proud of how we competed.”

The Wildcats (4-1) got on the board first when junior Mackenzie Scholtz received a through ball from teammate Trinity Moore. Scholtz then beat the Bronco defense and placed the shot in the back of the net to give Louisburg a 1-0 lead midway through the first half.

Spring Hill tied it up with three minutes remaining before halftime and then carried that momentum into the second half when it scored two minutes in off a corner kick to take a 2-1 advantage.

With 25 minutes left in the match, the Wildcats evened the score when junior Erin Lemke beat the Spring Hill goalie to the ball near the top of the box and then put away an empty-netter.

Louisburg junior Erin Lemke beats the Spring Hill goalie to the ball and scored the tying goal in the second half.

The Broncos, however, put the game away in the final minutes. Spring Hill took the lead on a goal with six minutes remaining and then added another four minutes later to all but seal the win.

Spring Hill controlled the possession at times, but the Wildcat defense was able to turn away several Bronco scoring attempts and goalie Carson Buffington had some big saves. It was a match that was closer than the score indicated and Conley was pleased with the effort his team showed.

“This team has a massive amount of team chemistry,” he said. “They are extremely competitive and play for each other. The girls play hard from start to finish. I was so excited with our fight and not backing down. We talked about the quote, ‘Bend, don’t break.’ Regardless if something negative or positive happens, we need to stay level headed and keep competing. The girls did just that. We made a few mistakes that Spring Hill capitalized on. We will work to clean those up and get better at practice.”

Their four-game winning streak may have gone away, but the Wildcats accomplished a lot during that stretch and it started with their defense.

Louisburg shut out each of its four opponents thanks to the back five of Kaitlyn Lewer, Camdyn Clark, Madison Quinn, Avery O’Meara and Hallie Hutsell, along with the efforts of Buffington.

“The defense was absolutely lights out so far to start our season,” Conley said. “Even against Spring Hill, I think we defended well and gave them shots from distance. We did a nice job of executing our game plan. The first four games we were extremely impressive. The defense and goalkeepers had 356 minutes and 4 seconds of shutout soccer. That’s incredible. I am extremely happy with our defensive core and their improvement each and every day.”

Offensively, the Wildcats also got good production from Scholtz and she was on a goal-scoring tear during that stretch. Scholtz scored 13 goals in her first four matches and currently has 14 for the season.

“Mac has been on fire for us the first five games,” Conley said. “It will be hard to imagine anyone in the state having that many goals so far this season. She is absolutely on fire. To make that stat even more impressive, she has been limited in minutes because the games were so lopsided. She is off to a terrific start and is going to have a great year.”

The Wildcats will try and get back on the winning track Tuesday when it hosts Eudora. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m. at the Wildcat Sports Complex.

LOUISBURG SHUTS OUT KANSAS CITY CHRISTIAN

The day before Louisburg was supposed to play its toughest match on the road against Spring Hill, the Wildcats hit the road Tuesday to square off with Kansas City Christian.

As it turned out, it was a nice tune-up for the Wildcats as they shut out KCC, 6-0, at Johnson County Community College.

The Wildcat offensive attack was on full display from the get-go as they scored in the first minute on a goal from junior Mackenzie Scholtz and never looked back. In fact, the Wildcats got four goals from Scholtz as she recorded her fourth consecutive hat trick.

Louisburg also had a pair of goals from junior Erin Lemke and assists from junior Trinity Moore, sophomore Olivia Barber and freshman Reese Johnson. It was as an all-around strong performance from the Wildcat offense.

“We came out slow in the previous week against Bonner Springs, so we focused a lot on being ready to play,” Louisburg coach Kyle Conley said. “The moment the girls got off the bus the girls were ready. We come out and had some great combination play and scored in the first 30 seconds of the game. Our girls played extremely hard and aggressive.

“I was really pleased with how well we worked and battled. We played very well and did a fantastic job limiting dangerous opportunities. We got the opportunity to get a lot of people in the game and get some reps. It was nice because those kids work so hard in practice to get their chance to get some varsity time.”

The defense was also a strong point for the Wildcats as senior goalie Carson Buffington earned her fourth consecutive shutout and the back line of Kaitlyn Lewer, Camdyn Clark and Madison Quinn helped limit the chances.

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