WICHITA — It’s not often that two teams from the same league meet in the Class 6A state tournament championship game, but this year was an exception. Blue Valley Northwest defeated Blue Valley North 2-1 in the game for the state title.
By PAIGE FEIKERT
The Wichita Eagle
“I think there’s a lot of respect between the two schools,” BV North coach Tim Wiseman said. “Coming into this game we knew it was going to be tough.
“We’re both in the same conference — it’s a really unique situation to have both teams from the same conference playing for a state championship.”
BV Northwest defeated BV North 4-0 earlier this season when the two met in league play, but that wasn’t obvious in the game Saturday.
BV Northwest started with the wind at its back, but BV North held off the Huskies until Emily Herndon took a free kick a few yards outside of the penalty area from a handball call and tucked it into the back post for a goal with 14:49 remaining in the first half.
Even with a 1-0 deficit, BV North was optimistic about having the wind at its back for the second half.
“There’s nothing you can do about that, that was a great goal, a great goal on a set piece that we couldn’t stop,” Wiseman said. “I think we were still pretty excited about only being down one goal at half, and then having the wind in the second half.”
BV North had more offensive pressure in the second half, ending with four shots in the period, compared to none in the first half. But Herndon scored again 13 minutes into the second half, after cutting the goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation.
BV North kept pushing up, trying to play the ball wide on the ground for crosses into the middle. BV North’s Davina Shogbamimu took a corner kick from the left side that bounced around in front of the goal before Macy Dodd finished it for her team’s lone goal with 11:28 remaining.
“That’s how they beat Shawnee Mission East was on two corner kicks, two head balls. Once they got the first one I was afraid for the second,” BV Northwest coach Rick Pribyl said.
Despite BV North’s momentum, BV Northwest held off the Mustangs for the remainder of the game and finished with a win and the state title.
“It’s never about the coaches, it’s always about the kids,” Pribyl said.
“With the coaches we always have another chance to come back with a different team — it’s rare, but there’s the chance. But with the kids this is their one-time shot, and I didn’t want them to come so close and miss.”
Maize 5, Manhattan 0
Maize came back from a loss Friday against Blue Valley Northwest and finished third at state with a 5-0 victory Saturday over Manhattan.