It was over in an instant.
By CHARLES REDFIELD
Special to The Star
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School and Olathe Northwest played almost 95 minutes of scoreless soccer on Monday night at the Shawnee Mission District Soccer Stadium.
After a foul just outside the penalty area on the right side, junior Cole Nelson of SM Northwest took the free kick.
“I wanted to put it in a dangerous spot,” he said. “I wanted to put it on the six-yard line.”
And senior Collin Jones was in the right spot at the right time.
“Cole played the ball in,” Jones said. “I dove and headed it in.”
There were 5 minutes, 4 seconds left in the second golden goal 10-minute overtime period, and SM Northwest was the 1-0 winner.
The victory improved the Cougars to 8-3 and 6-1 in Sunflower League play. Olathe Northwest fell to 5-7 and 3-4.
SM Northwest is ranked No. 5 in Class 6A in the latest Kansas Soccer Coaches Association rankings.
Olathe Northwest had the ball in the Cougars' half of the field for most of the first half but had only one shot on goal. The Ravens had a 5-3 advantage in shots in the second half.
Perhaps the Ravens' best chance came when senior keeper Steven Skells was out of the game because of a yellow card. Sophomore Tevyn Pak replaced him and had a save while Skells had to wait until he could substitute back into the match.
The first 10-minute overtime period didn’t produce many shots on goal, but SM Northwest had three shots on goal in the second overtime.
“We were not playing our game,” senior Evan Miller said. “We played our game in the second overtime.”
SM Northwest coach Todd Boren said. “We have to cash in on our opportunities. Our games are typically like this. I figured it (this match) would come down to one opportunity.”
In 2012, the Cougars were 9-6-1 in the regular season. They won their regional title and lost in the second overtime period to Blue Valley Northwest in the 6A state quarterfinals.
They return 10 players from their 2012 post-season roster. They have five matches left in the regular season.
“Defensively is where it starts for us,” Boren said. “When we possess the ball, that makes us dangerous.”
Senior Evan Miller said, “We have to keep working hard. Our attitude and team chemistry are good.”
“We have a really solid defense,” senior keeper Steven Skells said. “We have to work the ball around (on offense) and create opportunities.
What is the key for the rest of the season?
“We have keep doing the same things we have been doing – good effort in practice, keep focused and keep our heads on,” Skells said.
Senior Collin Jones added, “We have a tendency to play down to our opponent. We have to have intensity for the whole 80 minutes.”