Olathe East and Shawnee Mission Northwest battled through 110 soggy, slippery minutes Tuesday with the Kansas Class 6A quarterfinal title on the line.
By KATHLEEN GIER
The Kansas City Star
After two scoreless halves and four scoreless overtime periods totaling another 30 minutes, Olathe East squeaked out a 1-0 victory by winning the penalty kick shootout 4-1. With the victory, the Hawks improved to 19-0-0 and advanced to the state semifinals, where they will face Manhattan in Junction City on Friday.
“On a windy, wet night I think both teams gave the fans their money’s worth,” Olathe East head coach Terry Hair said. “Balls hitting the crossbar, goalies making exceptional saves, balls skipping. It was a wonderful soccer match.”
Brent Krull scored the first goal of the evening with his penalty kick, and goalkeeper Patrick Rydberg blocked one from Hunter Thompson. Andres Cooper added another, but this time Cole Nelson countered for the Cougars. Zac Marquess extended the lead with another kick, and this time, Rydberg was ready. Sam Nobrega kicked and Rydberg slid to the right to kick it away, which allowed Chris Lyon to seal the victory with the final goal.
“This is one of the best feelings of my life,” Rydberg said. “It was a fantastic play. I am going to remember it for a long time.”
For the seniors, it was their first time to make it past the quarterfinals in the state tournament. But prior to Tuesday night they’d been advancing with ease, winning their first two matches 8-0 and 4-0 to claim their regional.
“I was in this position sophomore year and we lost this game and it was an awful feeling,” Cooper said. “Now coming back my senior year and doing this is an awesome feeling.”
As for the Cougars, it was the third straight overtime match and the second that went into penalty kicks. They finished the season 13-6-0.
St. James 3, BV Southwest 1
After a scoreless first half, St. James Academy scored three second-half goals to beat Blue Valley Southwest on Tuesday in a Kansas Class 5A quarterfinal match at Blue Valley.
“We were very excited in the first half and didn’t have any composure,” Thunder coach Rick Enna said. “We settled down and played better against a very talented (BV) Southwest team in the second half.”
Most of the second half was played in a driving rain. But that didn’t seem to bother the Thunder, who got on the scoreboard quickly after intermission.
On a free kick 32 yards from the goal, Enna’s son Steven found the back of the net with 37:10 left in the match.
“I knew it was rainy and windy,” he said. “I wanted to drive it and hope it would go in. I knew it would skip if I put it on the ground.
Less than four minutes later, the senior forward found the back of the net again to make it 2-0. The assist went to senior forward Spencer Jones.
The two goals by Enna gave him 31 for the season. He also has 10 assists.
“I took a touch and got by two defenders (on the left side),” Enna said. “My left-footed shot luckily went in.”
The Timberwolves cut the margin to 2-1 with a goal by senior Alexander Hintz with 9:17 remaining.
The heavy rains came again and Jones’ shot from the right side found the back of the net with 6:44 left to ice the game.
The Thunder (14-4-1) will play in the state semifinals Friday at Goddard.
| Charles Redfield, Special to The Star