WICHITA — The Kansas Class 6A girls soccer semifinal game between Blue Valley Northwest and Maize might have played out differently if the Huskies hadn’t scored a goal less than 30 seconds into the game. But BV Northwest’s clear advantages in speed, athleticism and instinct probably would have been established eventually.
By JEFFREY LUTZ
Special to The Star
Still, that goal was the perfect ice-breaker for those attributes to flourish. Maize began playing tentatively and with hesitation, while BV Northwest gained a confidence it would use for the next 59-plus minutes of its 5-1 win at Wichita Heights. BV Northwest plays BV North for the championship Saturday at 2 p.m.
“They were on their heels, we were on our toes,” BV Northwest coach Rick Pribyl said. “In soccer, that makes all the difference in the world.”
Cece Kizer scored that goal, her first of three for the Huskies. All of BV Northwest’s scoring came from Kizer and junior forward Kara Priest, who scored the first two goals of the second half after Kizer scored two in the first. Kizer assisted Priest’s first goal and secured the hat trick with a goal midway through the second half.
Kizer and Priest displayed an obvious chemistry supplemented by superior ball-handling skills and a tendency to look for each other on breakaways. They deftly controlled the middle of the field and could create their own shots — Kizer drove left to score her goals left-footed.
“They got the ball out wide and they got in the box and they were skillful,” Maize coach Jay Holmes said. “We seldom match up against forwards that have that type of speed and skill. They’re special players.”
BV North 3, Manhattan 0
The game never looked like the runaway it became, as the teams were scoreless at halftime and within one goal with less than four minutes to go. The Mustangs pulled away with a pair of goals in the final 3:46 that made the game appear one-sided.
But in many ways, it was lopsided. BV North outshot the Indians 12-1, and Manhattan went the final 40 minutes without threatening the goal. The Huskies never turned that into anything tangible, however, before finally scoring the decisive goal about 10 minutes into the second half.
After a missed opportunity seconds before, the Huskies built momentum toward the goal before Davina Shogbamimu corralled a ball and headed it backward with her back toward the goal. It found Caroline Anthony, who delivered a header of her own for the first goal.
To that point, BV North had been more aggressive and Manhattan more tentative, and those differences only grew after the Huskies scored. BV North had possession almost the entire second half, wearing down Manhattan to produce two more goals. Melinda Farmer made it 2-0 before Macy Dodd capped the scoring with a goal 93 seconds later.