• Cats end scoreless streak, nip Jays

  • For more than 126 minutes, the Blue Springs girls soccer team fired shot upon shot to no avail.

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  • For more than 126 minutes, the Blue Springs girls soccer team fired shot upon shot to no avail.
    After a one-goal loss to Lee’s Summit North on Monday, the Wildcats dominated possession against Raytown through the first half and opening six minutes of the second half on Tuesday.
    In the 47th minute, freshman Morgan Hensley finally snapped the drought by connecting on a penalty kick. To call that score a breakthrough, though, would be an exaggeration. By game’s end, the Wildcats had fired 36 shots to the Blue Jays’ two, and only Hensley’s found the back of the net.
    Still, the Cats were happy to pick up a 1-0 victory at Blue Springs High School with an effort that coach Doug McLagan saw as a considerable improvement from Monday’s.
    “Thirty-six shots to two, that’s not a very good percentage is it?” McLagan joked. “But maybe we’re saving them for a rainy day.”
    Time and time again, Hensley blasted shots at Raytown goalkeeper Kelsey Barrett. McLagan said with a little bit of luck, Hensley could have finished with five or six goals. But too many of those attempts sailed directly into Barrett’s hands.
    “Every shot she took, even the ones that had a bit of venom on them, went straight to the keeper,” McLagan said.
    Hensley said eventually it became a matter of frustration. After more than a game and a half without a goal to start the season, she said the team started pressing.
    “I think we all started getting frustrated,” Hensley said. “Nothing would go in, but I think once the second half started, we started passing the ball around and I think we got more opportunities.”
    More than misfortune contributed to Blue Springs’ offensive woes, McLagan said. While the Wildcats (1-1) manufactured an abundance of scoring chances, too frequently their finishing punch was predictable.
    “We talked at halftime, a couple shots were going front post,” McLagan said. “That’s an easy save for the keeper.”
    That’s not to say there weren’t positives for the Cats. They generated even more scoring opportunities in the second half, including Hensley’s PK, and dominated possession throughout the match.
    They also rebounded from a performance Monday that McLagan described as “atrocious.”
    “Yesterday was mostly nerves and the jitters of the first game,” Blue Springs junior Gabi Severns said. “We haven’t really connected together as a team. Today was our first game where we connected more. We switched it, got the ball fast and cleared it, headed toward the goal, found forwards and connected and linked up.”
    Follow Shawn Garrison on Twitter: @GarrisonEJC

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