Broncos goalkeeper stonewalls Wildcats

By Michael Smith
The Examiner

With the way Lee’s Summit North goalkeeper George Camburako was playing Monday night against Suburban Big Eight Conference rival Blue Springs, there might as well have been a brick wall in front of his net.

That’s how well he was playing against the Wildcats as he had eight crucial saves in the final 25 minutes of the Broncos’ 2-0 victory at home.

Camburako made a diving stop on a shot from 30 yards out from Blue Springs’ Aidan Davis. Just seconds later he made another stop on a close range shot. He repeated a similar sequence just minutes later, stopping a long-range shot, followed by a rebound attempt he denied.

“In the second half, we came out a little slow,” North senior midfielder Tyler Dailey said. “Our goalie, George, made a couple of really good saves. He’s amazing, I wouldn’t want another goalie.”

Perhaps Camburako’s best save came in the 71st minute when Blue Springs midfielder Garrett Alsup had a breakaway attempt and got a shot inside the 18-yard box on the left wing. The ball looked like it was headed inside the left post, but once again, Camburako made another spectacular save.

“This is one of my better games to save in the vault to keep in my memories,” said Camburako, who is a first-year starter. “The first two weeks were a bit rocky, but the coaches talked to me and I got back in my rhythm.

“The back line is a huge help, without them, my shots wouldn’t get blocked. I would have to deal with 100 shots a game.”

North coach Ryan Kelley echoed his sentiments about the quality of defense the Broncos have shown in recent games.

“(Camburako) is going to have to make a couple of saves every night,” Kelley said. “He had a couple of nice, big ones tonight. He’s really grown in the role of the leader of our defense and has really taken charge of it. He’s starting to get a lot more comfortable.

“Ben (Lampe) has also done a really good job commanding the back line and keeping it organized. Three of the four on the back line are starting for the first time at this level. They are really growing from the beginning of the year until now. The entire team has defended a lot better the last couple of weeks.”

While the Wildcats (6-6, 2-5 Big Eight) won the possession battle, Lee’s Summit North (5-5, 4-3) used counter attacks to score both its goals.

Dailey notched the first goal. Carson Wilcox received a pass from the wing inside the 18-yard box and found Dailey open on the right side of the box. Dailey buried the shot just three minutes into the first half.

“After we got that goal, we kind of relaxed and got a little too comfortable,” Kelley said. “We were really sloppy. Our touch was poor and Blue Springs did a nice job defending and pressuring us. When we moved the ball forward, they would break up passes to our forwards.

“They possessed the ball well for the majority of the first half, we just did a good job countering.”

Blue Springs coach Michael Palermo was frustrated with his team’s ability to finish.

It’s been the same story for us – we are struggling putting the ball in the back of the net,” Palermo said. “We possess the ball well but we have to be better in the attacking third and create positive chances on goal. Then we need to put them away. Hopefully we can get our team back to full strength soon and that may help some.”

North’s second goal came from junior forward Jose Vega, who received a through ball from Dailey to the outside of the box and banged a shot with his left foot off the post and in for the final score.

This win was just what North needed after losing five of its first seven games. Not only did the Broncos beat one of their rivals, they extended their winning streak to three games, all shutouts.

“It’s good to get on a winning streak after the amount of games we lost,” Vega said. “Beating a team like that over these years is really good.”