As if he’s reading from a list, Blue Valley Northwest girls soccer coach Rick Pribyl says the last three seasons have featured teams with completely different identities
Personality, style of play, strengths and weaknesses — they’re all unique, he says.
But the Huskies are two victories away from a remarkably familiar result.
Blue Valley Northwest defeated Olathe Northwest 2-0 in the Kansas Class 6A quarterfinals Tuesday. In search of their third straight state championship, the Huskies, 17-1-1, will play Friday in the Class 6A semifinals.
“We’re not looking back. We’re only looking forward,” Pribyl said. “This is its own team, and they want to make their own (mark).”
Sophie Connor and Cece Kizer provided the two goals Tuesday, and the defense took care of the rest.
Connor got her goal in the midst of a dominant stretch from the Huskies, who missed an opportunity to add to their lead in the first half.
But they were close.
Earlier in the half, Connor redirected a header less than a foot over the crossbar. Sami Arch and Karley Kucera came even closer. After Connor’s goal, they each ripped distance shots off the crossbar.
Olathe Northwest goalkeeper Ashley Heller made six saves — including a point-blank look from midfielder Lauren Beischel — to keep the Ravens within one.
For the time being.
Kizer struck with 14 minutes left in the game, pushing the advantage to 2-0 and effectively sealing the victory.
And while Olathe Northwest produced crisper stretches over a more evenly-played second half, it failed to put a shot on target against goalkeeper Kennedy Coffelt, who posted the shutout.
Olathe Northwest, 13-6, focused its attention on the defensive half of the field, where it attempted to limit the touches from Kizer, who entered the match with seven goals over the last three games.
“I think I’ve been facing that a lot this season, so I focus on playing the ball quickly,” Kizer said. “That’s always our game plan — only one or two touches and get rid of it. It’s worked so far.”