St. Thomas Aquinas reached its ninth straight Kansas girls soccer championship game Friday, beating a shorthanded Maize team 3-0 in a Class 5A semifinal game at Newton-Bethel College Athletic Complex.
The Saints (16-3-1) overwhelmed Maize, scoring all three of their goals after a first-half red card against the Eagles.
“We were on the fortunate end of the red card tonight,” Aquinas coach Craig Ewing said. “We have to use this momentum going into tomorrow.”
In the 29th minute, Kaylee Swanson was called for an apparent handball in front of the Maize goal, leading to the ensuing red card. Aquinas’ Mallory Heying converted the penalty, putting the ball in the top right corner for a 1-0 lead.
In the 33rd minute, sister Katelyn Heying scored on a header off a corner kick from Hallie Klanke, giving the Saints a 2-0 halftime advantage. Seconds into the second half, Klanke received a nice through ball from Heying and tapped it in past Maize keeper Raquelle Hardin.
Aquinas tallied 20 shots, including 10 in the first half.
Maize had a seventh-minute breakaway by Elizabeth Palmer, but her shot was deflected by Aquinas keeper Nicole McEnroe. In the 65th minute, Maize’s lone second-half opportunity, Makayla Toth appeared to have an open net but Aquinas freshman Kate Goza cleared the ball.
Aquinas, which faces Blue Valley Southwest (16-3-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday, will look to win its eight consecutive state championship.
“We’re going to bed early tonight,” Klanke said. “We know it’s all on the line tomorrow.”
St. Thomas Aquinas 3, Maize 0
Halftime: Aquinas 2-0. Aquinas: M. Heying, PK, K. Heying (Klanke), Klanke (K. Heying), Shots: Aquinas 10-10—20, Maize-3-1—4. Saves: Aquinas, McEnroe 1-0—1, Hartnett 0-1—1 ; Hardin, 4-6—10
BV Southwest reaches final with 1-0 victory
At this point in the season, freshmen really aren’t freshmen. Blue Valley Southwest’s Mary Hartweger made an upperclassman play.
She caught a perfect entry pass from teammate Macy Ruffalo for the game’s only goal in a victory over Wichita Bishop Carroll.
“Macy (Ruffalo) just put it in the perfect spot,” Hartweger said. “I’m only benefited from my teammates.”
A scoreless first half, fueled by a defensive stand from the Carroll backline that withstood five Blue Valley Southwest shots.
Gracely Briley got one of BV Southwest’s best shots in the 44th minute. Arriving on the left side, her shot ricocheted off the crossbar and was cleared.
A last-ditch effort for Carroll on a corner kick in the 75th minute sent into the near side post saw Carroll with multiple touches in the penalty box, but managed only one shot on goal and it was eventually cleared.
BV Southwest 1, Wichita Bishop Carroll 0
Halftime: 0-0. BV Southwest: Hartweger (Ruffalo) Shots: BV Southwest 5-3—8, Carroll 0-3—3. Saves: BV Southwest, Patton 0-2—2; Carroll, McCorry 2-0—2.