Three Johnson County area high schools were crowned Kansas state champions last weekend in girls soccer, as teams battled rainy weather conditions to conclude state tournaments.
Here’s a look back at three teams that earned a state championship trophy.
Class 6A: SM West
When Shawnee Mission West got its chance against Blue Valley West on Sunday in the Kansas 6A girls soccer state title match, the Vikings scored late in the second half and walked off the field a 1-0 winner.
The win solidified an undefeated season for SM West, 20-0-1, and is the first girls soccer title for the Vikings. SM West coach Sarah Gonzalez said there was only one way to describe the feeling.
“Perfect,” she said. “It just feels perfect. We started off the season knowing we had a strong defense and just hoping we’d have great team chemistry, and from day one we did.”
SM West got its best chance with fewer than 20 minutes to play in the game, and put it away.
Maddie Wilkus got a pass from Hannah Miller and sneaked the ball past the charging goalkeeper to give the Vikings the lead with 18 minutes, 19 seconds to play. Wilkus assisted on the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win in double overtime against Manhattan in Saturday’s state semifinal.
Joel Jellison, Special to The Star
Class 5A: St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas won its seventh consecutive Kansas 5A state title Saturday, dominating Kapaun Mount Carmel 5-0.
The Saints’ celebratory pile at midfield wasn’t a scene Aquinas coach Craig Ewing could easily envision when his revamped team finished seventh in early April at its Mo-Kan Challenge.
“This one might be the most remarkable,” said Ewing, as Aquinas collected its 16th state championship. “We graduated the library. For this group to re-create themselves, I am so proud of them.”
Five Aquinas players scored against Kapaun — Caroline Romme, Anna Woltering, Katelyn Heying, Madison Janky and Meg Loughman — and junior Brigid Linder had three assists.
Aquinas, which outshot Kapaun 17-2, netted first-half goals off a corner kick and free kick.
“We had not done well most of the season on set pieces, but we got better at it,” Ewing said. “The willingness of the team to step up and get better means a lot.”
Scott Paske, Special to The Star
Class 4-1A: Bishop Miege
Bishop Miege removed all the drama early in the Kansas 4-1A state championship game on Saturday.
The Stags scored three times in the first half of a 4-0 win against Wichita Trinity Academy. Miege took an early lead on Harper Thompson’s goal in the 14th minute.
With a senior-laden back line and keeper Zoey Slettehaugh, that’s all the offense Miege needed to secure its first championship since 2003.
“I watched Trinity play three times this season just to be ready in case we played them here,” Miege coach Nate Huppe said. “The girls knew what we needed to do, and they did it.”
Miege senior Hannah Belfield headed in a corner kick with 6 minutes, 16 seconds left before halftime. Less than 2 minutes later, freshman Elena Eckwall lofted a shot from the far left side of the field over keeper Alexandria Bearup’s head for a 3-0 Miege lead.
Chris Marshall, Special to The Star