There really isn’t one team that Summit Christian Academy girls soccer coach Steve Korth fears as the Eagles roll into postseason play.
His fears are mostly centered on his own team.
If there’s one thing that could keep SCA from a third-consecutive appearance in the Class 1 state tournament, it could be a lack of bodies. And with the number of Eagles have or have had bumps and bruises, Korth sees that as a realistic concern.
“My main concern now is just keeping my kids healthy.” Korth said. “I had 18 to start with. I’ve got two that will never be back, one that really can’t play but for a couple of minutes at a time and the one starter might be back if we make to the quarterfinals … so were just hanging in there.”
SCA still has enough healthy bodies to play well, and the injury issues didn’t keep the Eagles from beginning their postseason May 15 with a 5-0 victory over Lutheran in the semifinals of the Class 1 District 8 tournament hosted by SCA.
SCA (15-5) got two goals apiece from Avery Brooks and Riley Painter and a goal from Maya Cofield and led 4-0 by halftime.
Brooks scored the last goal in the opening minutes of the second half, and Korth put the Eagles in protection mode soon after. They didn’t generate many scoring opportunities, but they kept Lutheran from getting a shot off until the game’s final seconds.
“We changed some things up and got some kids out of there to keep them from getting hurt,” Korth said. “When you’re ahead 5-0 it’s nice to be able to do that.”
Korth is trying to keep the Eagles going after losing two players for the season with concussions and seeing if another can overcome the wrist injury. Last week was especially brutal: SCA closed out the regular season with a 1-0 loss to nationally ranked Notre Dame de Sion and a 4-3 loss to Kansas City Christian on consecutive days.
“We were ahead 3-1 and just ran out of gas and bodies,” Korth said.
SCA did get one important body back in Painter, who was the Eagles’ leading scorer before missing five games with an ankle injury. And junior Makenna McGraw is back in goal after missing time with a concussion.
If it’s enough to get SCA a district title, the Eagles will be back at Swope Soccer Village for another shot at the Class 1 state title after falling in the championship match last year.
“That’s the one thing that I think can keep us from being successful now is injuries,” Korth said. “I can just keep them healthy, I think we have a pretty good shot.”