Outside of possibly watching some of it on film for learning purposes, Blue Springs boys soccer coach Mike Palermo wanted his players to forget about Monday’s 5-1 loss to Liberty as soon as the Wildcats walked off their home field.
Blue Springs trailed just 2-1 at halftime, but the Blue Jays (3-1) scored goals in the 51st, 54th and 57th minutes to quickly turn their Suburban Big Six opener into a runaway, as Charlie Raasch finished with three goals. The Wildcats fell to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the Big Six.
“It just kind of got away from us,” Palermo said. “We went in [to halftime] thinking we had the momentum. I think 2-1 is the scariest score in soccer in the second half. The next goal, it’s either 3-1 and it’s over, or it’s tied.”
Liberty had opened the scoring in the 28th minute, as Raasch headed in a free kick past goalie Joel Gilbert, and Alex Poliot made it 2-0 in the 38th with a shot from the left wing after Liberty cut off a goal kick.
But Blue Springs sliced the deficit just a minute later, when Brandon Shipman’s corner kick got across the goalie box and Tarrek Alkahteeb slid in to boot the goal.
But Raasch’s second goal, off a corner kick that bounced around near the goal mouth, put Liberty back ahead by two. Garrison Midkiff headed in a long throw-in from the corner, and Raasch hammered home his third goal to finish the scoring.
Blue Springs middle backer Dylan Doss said the Wildcats didn’t talk and man-up enough on some of Liberty’s set pieces that resulted in goals.
“Lack of communication sometimes; it was a team thing on that,” he said. “We got a little unlucky on some of the deflections.
“A lot of times we didn’t counter quick enough. We all need to push.”
Blue Springs was missing defender David Finch due to a gimpy ankle, but Palermo said one thing that made Monday’s rout disappointing was that the Wildcats had just lost to the Blue Jays in overtime earlier this season.
“We just didn’t play well as a team,” he said. “We had some chances. Liberty’s kids, they finished their chances. We finish some our chances and maybe we score four goals.
“We had some kids hurt from the backfield, but that’s still no excuse. That doesn’t account for five goals.”