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Patriots getting results in recent hot streak

By Michael Smith
The Examiner
Truman's Omar Cano (10) converts a penalty kick with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining to lift the Patriots to a 2-1 victory over Fort Osage Thursday,

In the first seven games of the season, Truman boys soccer coach Manny Tovar said he felt his team was playing well, but the results weren’t showing.

The Patriots started out the season 2-5, with the last of those seven games resulting in a 2-0 loss to Van Horn.

But their quality play finally started to show in the win column as of late as Truman won for the fourth time in its last six games following a 2-1 Suburban Middle Six home win over crosstown rival Fort Osage Thursday night.

“We started out a little rough, but we’ve been practicing, working hard and putting in 100 percent,” Truman senior Chris Alessio said. “We are getting better every game.”

Truman's DeAnjalo Holman, center, and Fort Osage's Dillon Newell, right, battle for possession in Thursday's game at Truman. The host Patriots claimed a 2-1 win.

Truman got the first goal in the first half on a breakaway attempt. Senior defender Josue Ramirez booted a through ball to Alessio. Alessio then controlled it and waited until Indians goalkeeper Rhys Rippey came off his line, and slipped the ball past him for a goal and a 1-0 lead.

“I felt like we dominated most of the game since the beginning,” Alessio said. “We just couldn’t finish our opportunities. We went all out and did what we practiced.”

Late in the first half, Fort Osage (5-10) tied it after sophomore Lucca Smith was fouled inside the penalty box. Sophomore Brody Hendrix buried the penalty kick to tie it 1-1, a score that held until halftime.

Fort Osage's Brody Hendrix (31) is congratulated by teammates after converting a penalty kick late in the first half to tie Thursday's game at Truman 1-1. The host Patriots, though, won on a second half penalty kick for a 2-1 victory.

Rippey saved a couple of Truman shots near the 18-yard box as the Patriots controlled possession for most of the game. Truman (6-7) finally got another opportunity when a player was fouled inside the box, allowing junior midfielder Omar Cano to sneak a penalty kick inside the right post with 8:32 remaining to put his team up for good.

“I was happy we got the PK and more happy that we scored,” Cano said. “We’ve been a lot better at moving the ball and making passes from the back.”

Fort Osage didn’t go away quietly though as it created a couple of chances late, including a point-blank shot from senior Ibrahim Kamara that went wide left of the goal in the final 30 seconds.

“They had more possession than us but we played solid defense,” Fort Osage coach RaDel Hinckley said. “They got one goal early on a breakaway but we fought back and got chances. We played composed for the most part.

“But at the end, we let the emotions get the best of us and started gathering yellow cards. This is a rivalry game though. These guys have played against each other since they were little tikes.”

Truman's Esteban Herrera (6) pushes the ball up field in the Patriots' 2-1 win over Fort Osage Thursday.