(Kenny Felt/Special to the Tribune)
"It's a little anticlimactic," Fort Scott head coach Kevin Gray said. "I thought it would end a little differently.
"We've taken steps the last three years. This is another step in the right direction; something we hadn't done before. The next step, I guess, would be a Regional championship."
Fort Scott is 7-2 overall. This is the fifth time in the program's history the Tigers have won seven matches and the fastest they have made it there. It took 12 matches for Fort Scott to win seven in 2009 and 2011, 13 matches in 2010 and 14 matches in 2004.
There was a 37-minute long stoppage after six minutes of play in the first half. Officials stopped play again six minutes into the second half before determining that conditions were only to get worse and even if they did, it would be too dark to resume play at the Ellis Park field, which has no lights.
"It was tough when you play for about four minutes and then you take a break," Gray said. "But after the break, I thought we took our warm-up seriously -- it was a quick warm-up -- and we played the way we expected to play."
Fort Scott is 5-0 in the SEK with one league match remaining -- at Coffeyville on Oct. 11. No other team has fewer than two league losses and, thus, cannot catch the Tigers. Coffeyville fell to 1-2 in the SEK, tied with Pittsburg, while Independence is 0-3.
Roger Rodriguez blasted Fort Scott's first goal in the eighth minute of play. Chase Howser scored in the 20th minute and Austin Rogers converted a penalty kick in the 24th. The Golden Tornado's only goal came from Nick Shnoor in the 33rd minute.
Brett Allen made two saves for the Tigers as he faced 8 shots -- only 3 of which were on goal.
There are seven matches remaining in the regular season -- two of which will be at the Coffeyville Tornado Tournament on Saturday. With the league title already in hand, the Tigers can focus on getting better as Regionals approach at the end of October.
"If the season ended right now, we would be hosting through the Regional championship because we have the second-best record," Gray says. "There's still a lot of games to play but that's definitely becomes the goal now: to try and host that Regional championship."
Fort Scott's final home match of the season will be at 4:30 p.m. Monday against Riverton. After that, they have road games at Columbus, Coffeyville, Riverton and Paola.
|Team stats||Coffeyville||Fort Scott|
|Shots on goal||3||6|
C -- Cody Thompson (2 saves). FS -- Brett Allen (2 saves).
FS -- Roger Rodriguez (Tyler Endicott), 8th min.
FS -- Chase Howser (Tyler Endicott), 20th min.
FS -- Austin Rogers (penalty kick), 24th min.
C -- Nick Shnoor (unassisted), 33rd min.