SM Northwest girls soccer blanks Lawrence, moves to 4-1
OVERLAND PARK — After victories over Topeka West and Olathe South earlier in the week, the Shawnee Mission Northwest girls soccer team continued its early-season success with another convincing victory against Lawrence on Thursday.
Now at 4-1 on the season, the Cougars comfortably beat the Lions 8-0 to finish the week with three straight wins.
After a slow pace to begin the match, SM Northwest found its stride when senior Sarah Crawford crossed a ball over to sophomore Sarah Taylor, who put home the first goal of the game with 37:35 remaining in the first half.
“Once we put the ball in the net we seemed to settle in, find our rhythm and started to knock around the ball a little bit,” coach Todd Boren said.
At the 27:59 mark, the Cougars attack did not stop as Taylor followed up her goal with a swooping cross into the middle of the box on the corner kick. With spot-on touch, Taylor found senior Jennifer Howell, who knocked home the Cougars’ second goal.
Moments later senior Jessica Johnson added to the barrage of scoring by sneaking a ball past diving Lawrence goalkeeper Alex Ewy to put the Cougars up 3-0.
But the Cougars were not finished. Crawford came back with another goal with 19:23 left, stretching the margin to four.
Crawford continues to be one of the key forwards the Cougars rely on in order to keep mounting victories.
“It’s really exciting, and I think we can still improve, so hopefully we can keep the streak going.” Crawford said.
Boren shares similar compliments about Crawford’s contributions on the pitch.
“She’s a very dynamic player,” Boren said. “She comes with a lot of energy, on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.”
The team stayed with its aggressive nature with 7:25 remaining when junior reserve Meghan Haun came off the bench and punched in SM Northwest’s fifth goal of the evening.
A lethal offensive attack remains a vital aspect of the Cougars’ overall offensive philosophy.
“We’re pretty satisfied with the speed we have up top,” Boren said. “The girls are doing a pretty good job of putting some combinations in the middle.”
In the second half, it was more of the same for the Cougars as they continued to put the pressure on the Lions.
Sophomore Tori Devonshire netted a goal after 2:32 had ticked off the clock.
At the 19:54 mark, Crawford added to her impressive night with another goal off a set piece from sophomore Mikala Modiri, extending the lead to 7-0. The final tally for the Cougars came with 6:07 remaining.
Continuing this aggressive attack has been easy for a team that’s been able to give off some strong connections early in the year.
“The fact that this is an early game is pretty good for us working together and passing the ball and running off each other,” Taylor said. “It’s like telepathy.”
Although SM Northwest is playing at a high level, much more will need accomplished before it can challenge for the Sunflower League crown.
“We’ve got a nice group of girls that has a lot of experience last year and so far they’ve had a really good attitude going into practice,” Boren said. “I think if we keep that up, hopefully we’ll keep getting better as the season goes along. “