The Kayhi Lady Kings soccer team lost 4-0 to Thunder Mountain in their final game of the season on a rain-soaked Tuesday afternoon at Esther Shay Field.
The Lady Kings were unable to get much going on offense for the majority of the game. Their chance to score came midway through the first half when junior midfielder Haley Heck broke away from Thunder Mountain defense and had just the goalkeeper to beat. A daring save by junior Kaidree Hartman left her on the ground in pain for several minutes after colliding with Heck while making a diving stop, which kept Kayhi off the scoreboard. As Heck broke away towards the goal, Hartman charged and dove towards the ball, colliding with Heck’s foot in the process. Hartman remained in the game.
The rest of the game saw Kayhi barely able to move the ball past midfield, forcing them to play defense for much of the contest. Thunder Mountain’s first goal came during a breakaway down the left sideline by senior forward Abigail Booton with 15:00 remaining in the first half. Junior striker Mackenzie Olver added two more goals later in the half to widen the Falcons’ lead. Olver’s third goal of the game with 13:45 left in the second half capped off the scoring for both teams.
Kayhi head coach Andrew Wessling didn’t see the same fire in his team that they played with in Monday’s 2-1 win over Thunder Mountain.
“We came out a little tired, a little flat, we didn’t have the same excitement as yesterday,” Wessling said after the game. “That’s going to happen from time to time, it doesn't help with this cold weather either, these kids are miserable right now. That first goal, we kind of just deflated after that. It’s one of those things where after the first goal we’re like, ‘OK we’re still in it a little bit’ and then after the second one we kind of shut down.”
Despite the disappointing conclusion, Wessling is happy with the improvement he’s seen from his team over the course of the season.
“I’m really proud of the girls, regardless of what that score is,” Wessling said. “The improvement from the beginning of the season until now, we’re a whole different team. It’s a night and day difference and it’s fun to see that. There’s always those building blocks. We’re going to miss those seniors from this year, and they did a great job setting that foundation. It’ll be exciting, I’m always excited to see how things go for next season. Tough way to end, with a loss, but really proud of the girls just to see their growth this season.”
The Lady Kings finish the season with a 3-8-1 overall record and a 1-6 conference record.