TODAY AT VARIOUS SITEES
1 Rivals Aquinas, Miege to meet with semis at stake
Third-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas saw a run of eight consecutive state championships two in Class 6A and six straight in 5A during 2005-10 snapped last season, providing plenty of motivation for the EKL runner-up Saints, 12-3-3, who play at second-seeded Bishop Miege at 6:30 tonight. The defensive-minded Miege, 15-2-1, battled to a 2-2 draw Sept. 4 on the same field against Aquinas, but both teams have changed in the last two months. The Saints are riding a six-game win streak, including four straight shutouts, while the Stags have scored at least three goals in the last four games all wins. The winner advances to the 5A semifinals Friday at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka.
2 Harmon hopes to continue Cinderella run
Under first-year coach Carlos Olivas, Harmon served notice early this season that it was a force to be reckoned with. The Hawks beat SM South and topped BV West on penalty kicks at the Fat Cat Tournament on the way to a runner-up finish. Now, seeded first in the Class 6A eastern Kansas quarterfinals, Harmon, 17-1-0, is a win against Topeka-Seaman, 12-3-3, at 6:30 tonight at Art Lawrence Stadium from reaching the state semifinals. Led by goalkeeper Javier De Lara and Mauricio Ruiz, who had the game-winning goal in the Hawks regional-title win last week against BV Southwest, Harmon is aiming for the first KSHSAA state championship in school history.
3 EKL champ BV Northwest eyes bigger prize
Unbeaten East Kansas League champion Blue Valley Northwest has its eye on even bigger things in the Kansas 6A state quarterfinals at 6 tonight at the BV District Activity Complex. The top-seeded Huskies, 16-1-1, play fourth-seeded Shawnee Mission Northwest, 9-7-2, for a spot in Fridays 6A state tourney, which kicks off Friday with the semifinals at the College Boulevard Activity Center in Olathe. Boasting an 11-game unbeaten streak (10-0-1), BV Northwest is led by Blake Levine (11 goals, 6 assists) on offense and Ryan Bird (0.65 goals against average) on defense. The Huskies only state title was in 2006.
4 Rathbun, Lancers hope to press on
Favored in the other Kansas 6A quarterfinal in eastern Kansas, SM East, which finished second in the Sunflower League, bounced back from consecutive losses closing the regular season and won a district championship last week. The Lancers, 15-3-0, face a Lawrence team they pounded 6-1 on Sept. 20 at 6 tonight at the SM Soccer Complex. Forward Tyler Rathbun leads the SM East offense and broke the single-season record for goals scored. The Lancers, who beat the Cougars 1-0 on Oct. 9, have never won state.
5 Panthers to compete for 4-3-2-1A repeat
The only reigning champion from the Kansas City area Wichita Northwest won the 6A title and Liberal won 5A last season is Kansas City Christian, whose next hurdle in the quest for a Kansas 4-3-2-1A repeat is a quarterfinal showdown at 5 p.m. today at Baldwin. The Panthers, 8-6-4, have played a tough schedule and hope that pays off against the Bulldogs, 16-2-0. Meanwhile, either second-seeded Tonganoxie, 14-3-1, or third-seeded De Soto, 12-5-1, is guaranteed a semifinals berth. The winner will be determined at 4 p.m. today at Tonganoxies west campus.
| Tod Palmer, email@example.com