THURSDAY, OCT. 5, 2017, CHS SPORTS RECAP: Nifty execution on offense, suffocating defense carry booters to 3-0 home win. Volleyball squad falls 0-2 at Maryville

Cashing in three times on close to 10 well-executed scoring opportunities, the Chillicothe (Mo.) High School soccer Hornets gained a second win of the week over a St. Joseph opponent at home Thursday.
Jacob Anderson headed in a perfectly-placed, long aerial cross by Zach Boyles inside the match’s first four minutes and Boyles’ weak-side hustle put a second CHS goal on the scoreboard 42 seconds before halftime to propel the Hornets past Benton 3-0 at Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium II.
Later in the evening, Maryville dealt the volleyball Lady Hornets a 16-25, 20-25 defeat.
Soccer squad sharp in downing Benton again
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — Having won 4-1 in a non-conference match in St. Joseph last month, Chillicothe’s soccer Hornets claimed another 3-goals-margin triumph on their home turf in a mostly-dominant performance.
A couple of early defensive miscues could have put CHS in an early hole, but the visiting Cardinals didn’t convert them and paid the price in a 3-0 Midland Empire Conference win for the hosts.
Once Boyles’ long, high-arcing cross from deep along the offensive right sideline carried to the head of the leaping, 6’2” Anderson, who knocked it home from about 10 yards away, the match became virtually all Chillicothe.
The Hornets (8-7-1, 4-2 conf.), going right back above .500 with back-to-back verdicts over Lafayette and Benton after seeing an 11-matches stretch with only three victories diminish their 3-0 start to the year, gave their foe virtually no looks at CHS senior goalkeeper Drew Toedebusch after the missed chances in the first few minutes. For the contest, the netminder was required to make only one easy save  – it on a hard, but rolling, shot he saw all the way from about 40 yards out.
The Cardinals’ best chance of the last 77 minutes saw a high, 25-yards shot from the right side late in the match carry just over the backpedaling ’keeper’s hands, but go wide of the right goalpost by a couple of yards.
All it would have done is deny Toedebusch and the Hornets a fifth shutout of the season as the CHS victory was safely tucked away by then.
"Outstanding job by our defenders tonight,” lauded Tim Cunningham, CHS’ head coach, of the play of Logan Minnick, Hunter Horton, Jake Chapman, and Ethan Corbin, along with Toedebusch.
Anderson’s third goal of the season, unofficially, stood up as the game-winner, but it was Boyles, whose pass set up his classmate, who delivered the dagger just ahead of halftime.
Having missed on a couple of excellent, close-in chances to add to their lead – Jake Chapman’s header off Bryce Hague’s right-wing free kick from just outside the penalty area went just wide of BHS’ left goalpost and Adam Palasti had the ball around his feet with a wide-open net only five yards away, only to have a hurried swing of his right leg send the ball wide of that same right post, Boyles slipped in the back door to convert one as time wound down in the opening 40 minutes.
Taking their time to get their personnel where they wanted for a throw-in from the offensive left sideline as the clock moved under 60 seconds, a long throw by the Hornets’ Brennan Munson came down about 10 yards in front of the goal. Neither side had a player get to it in the air, so the ball skittered on the wet artificial turf toward the center of the net. As the Benton goalkeeper tried to track it down, several legs stretched for it and CHS’ Gavin Seeley made just enough contact to deflect the ball beyond the ’keeper’s reach and send it rolling toward, but barely wide of, the far (left) goalpost.
Another pair of players – one from each team – positioned in the penalty area for the throw-in could not generate enough acceleration to intercept it, but Boyles, lined up near the outer limit on the offensive right side of “the 18” (penalty area) as Munson heaved the ball and then racing toward the near goalpost, had the momentum necessary to get to the rolling ball about a yard before it sent past the post. Sliding to make sure he’d make contact, he banged the ball into the empty side of the net at 39:12 for his second goal of the season and it was 2-0, Chillicothe, as intermission arrived. The assist by Seeley unofficially was his fifth of 2017.
Its defense like an impermeable barrier for Benton’s attack, Chillicothe routinely kept the ball at least 30-40 yards away from its goal, while its own offense continued to spend lots of time with the ball on the BHS end of the pitch.
In the seventh minute of the second half, leading scorer Bryce Hague struck a well-aimed, hard, ground-ball pass from the offensive right side into the area in front of the Cardinals’ goal and about 10 yards from it. The placement kept the goalkeeper from being able to cut it off, but Mason Baxter’s redirecting touch angled it a few yards outside the far post, keeping it at 2-0.
Just over six minutes later, however, a very-similar play – but this time from the opposite side – increased the CHS lead.
Rushing the ball into the penalty area from the offensive left, Hague got just enough ahead of the closest pursuing defender to hook a left-footed pass sharply along the ground to the front of the net about seven yards out. The pace of the setup let the ball slip past two or three other retreating Cardinals and beyond the goalkeeper to find Baxter’s right foot. This time, the freshman’s angle of redirection was more sure, sending the ball into the vacant left half of the netting at 53:32 of the match. His unofficially fourth goal of the year, off Hague’s team-high-matching seventh assist, turned out to be the match’s last goal.
Chillicothe had three other near-misses the final 26-plus minutes as it gave the Benton defense little respite.
In the 61st minute, Munson’s left-footed blast from about 20 yards out of the left side carried over the backtracking Cardinals ’keeper’s head, only to thump the left goalpost straight on and carom right back to the goalie.
Eight minutes later, Baxter nearly had a second goal as he barely won a race for the ball with the goalkeeper, but saw his rushed shot go wide left.
Finally, in the closing two minutes, Hague tried to set up foreign exchange student Palasti on a crossing pass, but the Slovakian’s deflection also missed the net wide.
Chillicothe will try to stay above .500 Saturday as it plays twice in the downsized Mexico Invitational Tournament.
The now-round-robin event will find the Hornets taking on Missouri Military Academy at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by a 2 o’clock clash with the host Bulldogs.
A fourth team – Jeferson City’s Calvary Lutheran School – was due to participate in a 4-team, bracketed tourney, but has dropped out, it was announced Thursday.
Maryville virtually assures volleyball Lady Hornets’ losing final record
MARYVILLE, Mo. — Needing a tough road win to preserve realistic, though-still-slim chances of posting a winning final record this season – a mark which would have been a very good showing for a nearly-completely-revamped lineup, the Chillicothe volleyball Lady Hornets got no cooperation from host Maryville Thursday.
MHS’ Lady Spoofhounds registered a decisive first-game triumph, winning by nine points, then fended off a strong CHS performance in game two to win it by a 5-points spread and complete the straight-games sweep.
Chillicothe (9-13-3, 1-5 conf.) was led, statistically, by Kylee Larson’s 13 “digs,” Elli Ross’ 10 assists, lone senior Ruthie Vinson’s four “kills,” and three blocks from Kennedie Kieffer.
The Lady Hornets won only 13 of the 37 rallies they served and were under 20 percent in spiking efficiency.
Their next action – their regular-season finale – will be at St. Joseph against Benton next Tuesday.