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Fort Scott 3, Louisburg 2

FORT SCOTT – The first minute of the match provided an ominous feeling for the Louisburg High School boys soccer team Tuesday in its season opener at Fort Scott.

Fort Scott scored a goal in the opening minute on a scrum in front of the goal as a header squeaked its way into the back of the net. For the next 79 minutes, the Wildcats found themselves playing catch-up.

Although Louisburg was able to score a goal in each half, the Wildcats couldn’t overcome a three-score first half from Fort Scott as it handed Louisburg a 3-2 loss.

“The boys didn’t come ready to play and struggled giving up a goal in the first minute of the game,” Louisburg coach Kyle Conley said. “For a lot of these young men, it was their first ever high school game. I figured they would be nervous, but not that bad. We had a lot of distractions yesterday, but I loved how the boys kept fighting and wouldn’t give up.”

After the first minute goal from Fort Scott, the Wildcats started to settle down and possess the ball and eventually got some shots on goal.

Midway through the first half, Louisburg found the back of the net when sophomore Luke Faulkner scored his first-ever goal to tie the match on an assist from freshman Will Finestead.

Senior forward Chris Williams fakes out a Fort Scott defender Tuesday.

The final three minutes of the first half proved to be the difference in the game as Fort Scott scored twice during that span to take a 3-1 halftime advantage. The Wildcats were called for a handball just outside the box that resulted in a direct kick score for the Tigers, then a misplay in the box by the Wildcats with a minute left accounted for the other.

Down two goals didn’t seem to bother the Wildcats, however. They continued to put pressure on the Tigers.

Junior Ryan Haight cut the Fort Scott lead in half as he found the back of the net with 20 minutes left in the match, but Louisburg could get no closer.

Louisburg (0-1) will try and bounce back Thursday when it will host Paola in its home opener. The match is set to begin at 6 p.m. at the Wildcat Stadium Complex.

“Our goal is to get better each and every day and I think we were better than we were in our Gatorade scrimmage,” Conley said. “This team will continue grow and we will be pretty solid at the end of the year.”