Even though his team had just beat its neighboring rival 6-1 on the road, Fort Osage soccer coach Andrew Fletcher was not as happy as he wished he could have been.
The Indians’ runaway win over William Chrisman in the teams’ Suburban Middle Seven opener at Independence All-School Stadium was marred by a severe scuffle that resulted in Fort Osage’s Pier Cassiraghi and Chrisman’s Michael Scherer receiving red-card ejections and several other players engaged in some jawing.
The incident, which capped a physical and increasingly testy affair between the U.S. 24 rivals, happened with 52 seconds left after a ball got knocked out in some close quarters along the sideline facing the fans.
It was enough for Fletcher to tell his players that while they had played one of their best games in a few years, they ruined it by acting like “idiots.”
“The soccer was terrific,” Fletcher said. “We’ll address the other stuff.
“We passed and moved; we created space. We finished really, really well. It was a terrific performance.”
Before his early exit, Cassiraghi scored two goals and assisted on the last goal by Fort Osage, which improved to 2-2 overall. Hayden Baumgartner, Richmond Forbis, C.J. Chavez and Trey Hunt also netted goals for the Indians.
“Fort Osage has a really good team,” Chrisman coach John Straub said after his team slipped to 2-2. “It was a physical game. Throughout the game there was a lot of energy on the field. As kids, one thing we have to learn is to be able to channel that energy.
“I’m sure (the score) was part of it,” he said of the emotions that boiled over, “but we have to learn to keep our heads.”
Chrisman nearly drew first blood in the ninth minute when Scherer flew in from the right wing but his shot clanked off the far post.
Instead, it was Baumgartner putting away a rebound in the 21st after a defensive breakdown gave Cassiraghi a chance and his shot bounced off the post.
Cassiraghi did strike from 12 yards out in the 39th after Forbis’ lob pass over the back line, and Forbis got loose in the next minute for his own goal to give Fort Osage a 3-0 halftime lead.
“We’ve been doing a lot more passing instead of containing the ball,” said Fort Osage goalie Matt Summey, who benefited from solid enough defense and had to secure just a few easy saves. “It makes us progress faster.”
Chavez curled in a long corner shot over the leaping goalie for a score in the 59th, and Cassiraghi rifled in a straight-away 40-yarder 10 minutes later.
Chrisman’s Josue Najera ruined the potential shutout with a free kick deep from the left wing in the 77th, and Hunt tapped in the final goal a minute later when Cassiraghi’s free kick from midfield got past the back line of defense.
“I was hoping for the shutout, but it was a great strike,” Summey said. “He placed it perfectly.”
Jon Sartin was in goal the first half for Chrisman, and Andrew Wayman handled the second half.
Cassiraghi and Scherer receive minimum one-game suspensions for their red cards, per MSHSAA regulations.