For a brief minute, Truman boys soccer coach Jared Byrne might have thought his squad had squandered one too many chances in its match against William Chrisman on Wednesday.

For a brief minute, Truman boys soccer coach Jared Byrne might have thought his squad had squandered one too many chances in its match against William Chrisman on Wednesday.

In the first half, the host Patriots ventured into Bear territory time after time and came away empty handed, which left the contest tied at half. At that point, Byrne admitted he was “fuming mad.”

But after a quick chat with his players, he realized they recognized their mistakes. And a few minor tweaks lifted Truman to a 3-0 victory.

“When I got over there, they knew exactly what they needed to do,” Byrne said. “It was just a question of execution. They weren’t finishing the ball. We had those chances, we just weren’t finishing. I knew we’d still create the chances, and we did. It took a little longer than I thought, but we did.”

In the opening 40 minutes, the Pats (5-4) seemed perpetually on the verge of a scoring splurge. One particularly agonizing near-miss came around the 1:35 mark, when Truman attacked into the Chrisman box before Charley Atkinson finally chased down the loose ball and cleared it with the Bears’ net empty as goal keeper Devon Warner had shifted out of position in the scrum.

But in the second half, the Pats finally broke through. First, Cam Wallace received a pass from Cam Chandler off a deflected corner kick and buried a chip shot in front of the goal with 34:39 left. Truman added two more goals in the final 2:16 as Zach Felz scored and Wallace added another. Wallace also assisted Felz’s goal.  

Even at the half, when it seemed the Pats might have blown too many chances, Felz said the team remained confident. He noted that it was a positive sign that everyone kept attacking rather than becoming discouraged by the zero on the scoreboard.

“You always feel like you miss chances when you have opportunities that you don’t convert on,” Felz said. “But we were pleased to be getting that many opportunities, because we knew some would fall and we would finally score.”

While the Bears’ effort eventually left them with a defeat, coach John Straub complimented the team’s effort – particularly in the first half as the Bears withstood repeated Patriot charges.

“Truman came out in the first 20 minutes and put us under an incredible amount of pressure,” said Straub whose squad looks to rebound tonight at home against Fort Osage. “I’m really proud of the boys of how they kept their composure. ... I think once you give up that first goal it’s sometimes difficult, but I thought the boys continued to play hard and still created opportunities.”

The Bears (2-6) mounted a series of attacks over the final 40 minutes. With 32:48 left, Chrisman senior Devon Williams blasted a shot toward the Truman net, but Patriot goal keeper Alex Villa dove to his right and clutched the save.

While Chrisman remained aggressive, Truman allowed only two shots on goal.

“I was very content in what we gave them,” said Byrne, whose team hosts Fort Osage on Monday. “We gave them a few things, and I feel like as far as the game plan, it worked in our favor. They played smart, they played simple. And I don’t think (Chrisman) was able to do anything with those chances.”