Kansas high school girls soccer state tournaments start Friday in Olathe, Topeka and McPherson. Here are five storylines to watch during the weekend.
1. Huskies and Saints defending team titles
Blue Valley Northwest and St. Thomas Aquinas both go into the weekend with the goal of defending their Class 6A and 5A titles respectively. The Huskies have won two in a row, and the Saints set a state record with their fifth straight last season.
BV Northwest is one of the two top seeds in Class 6A with a 17-1-1 record. The Huskies will face Maize at 7 p.m. at the College Boulevard Activity Center.
Aquinas is a No. 2 seed in Class 5A with a 16-3-0 record and faces Bishop Carroll at 5 p.m. at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka.
2. Possible Class 5A championship rematch
Blue Valley Southwest knocked off defending Class 5A champion Aquinas in the regular season and could have a shot at a state title game rematch to avenge last year’s 2-1 loss.
The Timberwolves are a No. 1 seed in Class 5A and will meet Maize South in the semifinals at 7 p.m. in Topeka.
Lauren Lambrecht and Rilynne Like present a balanced attack with 15 goals each in 18 games. Kolbi Gonzales leads the team with nine assists.
3. Miege shows depth on offense
Bishop Miege has not lost a game since April, and a big reason is the depth that the Stags have shown through balanced scoring.
Eleven different players have scored two or more goals this season, and the team has been ranked No. 1 in the Class 4-1A Kansas Soccer Coaches Association poll since the start of the season.
Miege will start tournament play against second-ranked Topeka Hayden at 7 p.m. at McPherson College.
4. Vikings trying to improve on third place finish
Shawnee Mission West carries an 11-game unbeaten streak into the Class 6A tournament where it will face Washburn Rural at 5 p.m. at the CBAC for a spot in the championship game.
The Vikings started the season 0-3, but have lost just once since then and tied defending champion BV Northwest for a 14-4-1 record.
Morgan Mauck leads the team with 33 goals, and Hannah Miller ranks second with 18 goals.
5. De Soto surviving tight games
De Soto may have made it to the Class 4-1A state tournament, but the road has not been easy for the Wildcats.
They had a bye in the first round of regionals and topped Maranatha 1-0 to take the title, but the Wildcats met heavy resistance in the quarterfinals against Spring Hill. De Soto escaped with a 3-2 victory in triple overtime and enter the state tournament with a 14-4-1 record.
De Soto faces McPherson at 5 p.m. at McPherson College.