TOPEKA — Despite losing less than 12 hours earlier, De Soto managed a scrappy 3-1 victory Saturday over their Frontier League rival Spring Hill at the Hummer Sports Complex in the consolation game of the Class 4-1A state tournament.
By RYAN McCARTHY
Special to The Star
After losing 4-0 in both matchups earlier this season, the Wildcats were pleased with their effort. Especially from senior Allison Stanley, whose two goals helped lead De Soto to the win.
We knew it would be difficult for them to beat us a third time, so we just went out there and played, Stanley said.
De Soto jumped out to an early lead when Stanley dribbled through the defense and poked a ball past Spring Hills diving goalkeeper in the 10th minute.
Stanley came right back 36 seconds later with her second goal of the game off a pass from junior Crystal Carrillo.
Allison prepared well for this season and deserves every moment shes gotten, De Soto coach Jesse Smith said.
Spring Hill countered with a goal in the 18th minute when Shelby Spradling kicked a ball from outside the box and past the outstretched goalkeeper making it a one-goal game once again.
But in the second half, De Soto goalkeeper Taylor Peterson fully recovered from Fridays difficult match stopped the Broncos.
Due to the pressure from Spring Hill, De Soto was on the defensive for much of the game, making it difficult for them to push the ball forward into the scoring area.
The second half we packed it in and held on. Its not always pretty, but we got the result, Smith said.
But with Stanley moving back and forth in the second half between defense and offense, she showed why she had helped lead the Wildcats throughout the season.
She came into our offseason conditioning ready to play this season, Smith said. Her fitness is ungodly. I think shes one of the fittest girls in 4A and maybe the state. She can play 80 minutes at the highest level. Shes our go-to player.
De Soto even tacked on a late goal. With 2 seconds remaining in the match, freshman Bailey Billings sprinted by the defense and struck a ball past the goalkeeper putting the final touch on the teams victory.
Despite not hoisting the state championship trophy, the Wildcats were pleased to finish off the season strong with a victory over a formidable opponent.
Its amazing because weve never been to the state tournament, Stanley said. Everyone on the team has been so supportive and everyone on the team can get on the field and play.