Truman soccer coach Manny Tovar had a pretty solid scouting report on Blue Springs.
He knew the youthful Blue Springs Wildcats have had slow starts once the whistle is blown.
His Patriots notched the game-winning goal 4 1/2 minutes into the second half to pick up a 3-1 win at Truman High School.
Nate Hedrick had the go-ahead goal in the 44th minute on a header. His fourth goal of the year broke a tie game.
Junior Andre Guzman got the assist off a corner kick.
“I saw Andre give me the look-up,” said Hedrick, a senior forward. “I usually go near post, and I went up there and gave it a little flick and it went in. After that, we felt we could get through. We started to get in behind their defense and our defenders got more confident.”
Truman, winners of four in a row, got an insurance goal from Austin Montoya in the 75th minute.
For Blue Springs, the second half it was just a matter of running out of gas.
The Wildcats (0-5) were coming off a game against Lee's Summit West the night prior – a 2-1 loss – and the effects became apparent late. Blue Springs wore down late and were unable to match Truman's depth.
“That has been the story here, we are going through a complete (rebuild),” Blue Springs coach Michael Palermo said. “We are changing the culture of this program. We are changing the way we play. We are bringing in different kids. We are young, primarily freshmen and sophomores on this field. We will lose a ton of games and we will lose next year. We (lost a lot) last year. We are revamping the program and we are starting from the ground up. We aren't worrying about that scoreboard.
“We are doing the right things and going in the right direction. We just want to compete with these teams, and we are doing that.”
Truman (4-1) went up 1-0, but didn't get on the board until the 28th minute on a goal by Juan Gonzalez, with Guzman providing the assist.
The goal came moments after a Patriots free kick, but Blue Springs goalkeeper Jacob Williams turned the shot away with a diving save.
In the 36th minute, the Wildcats – who beat Truman last year – tied the game on Tyler Sidebottom's goal, about a minute and a half after he had a breakaway that ended with a save by Truman goalkeeper Josh Cruz. The game was knotted 1-1 at the break.
“It was another good game for us, attacking-wise,” Tovar said. “There are things we can work on, but this is definitely a good game for us.”