Springwood soccer team clinches trip to state playoffs with 2-1 win over Lee-Scott

Published 10:20 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2019

LANETT — The Springwood soccer team (7-1) clinched a spot in the state playoffs for the second consecutive season with a 2-1 win over Lee-Scott Academy on Tuesday night.

One of the night’s heroes proved to be Springwood Junior Jonah Kelley, who initially left the field with an injury with 2:25 remaining in the second half.

“I was really mad and upset with myself because I wanted to stay in, but the trainer made me come off of the field because she had to come out,” Kelley said. “I was really frustrated and nervous about what was going on.”

Email newsletter signup

After Springwood and Lee-Scott tied each other 3-2 in the first round of penalty kicks, Kelley was eligible to come in for the second round of penalty kicks, which was also sudden death.

“At that point, I knew it was my time to go up,” Kelley said. “A few weeks ago, I missed one in Glenwood. That was going through my head, but I had to get it out and tell myself that I was going to make it.”

With Springwood and Lee-Scott fans alike anticipating the shot, Kelley made the penalty kick that followed a save from eighth-grade Wildcats goalie Cason Knotts to win the game.

“I’m really proud of him for sticking that one through,” Springwood head soccer coach Jon Lanier said. “It’s amazing. That’s a great team that we just played. They’re very well-coached, they’re a fantastic team, all of those guys know what they’re doing, it’s a huge win for us. That gets us in the playoffs, but not only that, that’s a big win against a big team.”

Springwood gave up the lone goal of the night at the 27-minute mark in the first half from a deflection. Throughout the night, the Wildcats struggled to get anything going offensively until junior Tyler Ly punched in the 1-1 equalizer past Lee-Scott’s goalkeeper with 12:44 remaining in the second half.

Other than making his penalty kick in the first set, team-leading striker junior Coleman Hull was unable to find the back of the net against Lee-Scott’s physical defense.

“I had some opportunities, I didn’t do a great job of finishing,” Hull said. “I think that I probably should have had two, but sometimes the ball doesn’t roll your way. It’s really not about me, it’s about the team. I wasn’t able to score tonight, but it really doesn’t matter at the end of the day…It’s a team sport, so if my role wasn’t to score tonight and we still get the win, then I’m fine with that.”

Stepping up for Springwood’s offensive struggles was the Wildcats’ defense tonight, led by Knotts who made a number of stops coming down the stretch.

“In the first half, the ball deflected off of a defender in went in, and I just kept at it,” Knotts said. “I felt very happy about the last save. I was hoping that Jonah would finish it, and he did.”

Four games remain for the Wildcats in the regular season before the first round of the playoffs begins on April 15. Springwood returns to action on Thursday at Northside Methodist.