Fort Osage girls soccer coach Andrew Fletcher wants his players to stop overlooking opponents.

Fort Osage girls soccer coach Andrew Fletcher wants his players to stop overlooking opponents.

Although the Indians are 3-0 after Wednesday’s 4-1 road win over Van Horn, they’ve entered each game expecting to rout the opposition, according to Fletcher. Such was the case Wednesday.

“We still have to work,” Fletcher said. “The teams we’re playing are much better. We’ve played North Kansas City, they’re much better. We’ve played Raytown South, they’re much better. Van Horn’s a lot better than they were last year.”

Specifically, the Falcons (0-2) are “a lot quicker, a lot more athletic” than they were in 2011 and “pass the ball really well,” Fletcher said. The also have “some really good players,” he said, citing senior midfielder Camilla Neumann as a standout.

Neumann scored in the third minute to force Fort Osage to rally for the win. The Austrian  exchange student credited her goal to something the Falcons practice regularly: give-and-go passing. Or as she put it, “ping-pong passes.”

“It worked pretty well, even on a wet field,” Neumann said. “That’s how we have to play.”

However, the Falcons must continue to improve their passing if they want to develop as a team, Neumann and Van Horn coach Chris Corrie agreed. Corrie believes the team’s top priority is to improve its transition passing – that is, going “from winning the ball on defense through the midfield” to establishing “good attacking positions.”

“That’s where we’re struggling,” Corrie said.

But effort isn’t a concern. At least it wasn’t Wednesday.

“It was fun competing against a team like Fort Osage,” Corrie said. “I know we had them a little bit nervous in that first half. A couple goalkeeping mistakes and the game (would’ve) come down to the last 10 minutes. And that would’ve been exciting.”

“However, I was pretty proud that we chased the game,” he added. “We were competitive the whole time.”

That competitive streak might have helped the Falcons keep the lead until the 25th minute, when Indians senior forward Paige Baumgartner put a low ball into the far corner of the net to tie it.

“I was able to turn and get a good shot off,” said Baumgartner, who finished with a hat trick. “It was one of those where you feel like it’s solid.”

Minutes later, Kathryn Bedsworth scored with some help from her younger sister, freshman Zoe Bedsworth, to help give Fort Osage a 2-1 halftime lead.

“It was more of a breakaway,” Bedsworth said. “Zoe played it up to me.”

Baumgartner then scored in the 47th and 50th minutes to spark Fort Osage in the second half. She, Kathryn Bedsworth and Fletcher praised the team’s second-half performance. Defensively, the Indians adjusted to Van Horn’s attempts to send through passes, Baumgartner said.

“We had so many getting just sent (through),” Baumgartner said. “We can run, but not super quick.”
Moreover, Fort Osage’s “passes were 10 times better, I think, than the first half,” according to Baumgartner.

Fletcher praised Fort Osage’s second-half work ethic and the club’s play overall.
“It was a tough task for us,” Fletcher said. “But we responded pretty well.”