Summit Christian Academy girls soccer prospered the past couple of years off the foot of one unstoppable player.
The Eagles saw what it was like to be on the other side of that situation May 23.
Lone Jack has a prolific scorer in forward Kayda Kamolz, and for one half the Eagles were able to keep her out of the net. But Kamolz struck for three goals in the second half, and Summit Christian’s bid for a third straight appearance in the Class 1 state tournament ended with a 4-1 loss in a quarterfinal match at Lone Jack.
Kamolz is just a freshman, but those three goals upped her season total to 41 with 25 assists. Her 107 total points puts her up among the top 25 high school scorers this season.
SCA had that kind of player in Kassi Ginther, who scored 123 goals her senior year and national-record 319 before graduating last year. With Ginther, Summit Christian could do to teams what Kamolz did against the Eagles.
“We got a taste tonight of what Summit Christian had been doing to other teams the last two years,” SCA coach Steve Korth said. “That’s the difference one really good player can make.”
After the two teams battled to a 0-0 tie during a physical first half, Summit Christian took a 1-0 lead when Savana Sallas sailed a free kick from 40 yards out into the top of the net two minutes into the second half.
SCA kept that lead, and fended off several Lone Jack opportunities, until Kamolz got through on a breakaway and tucked a shot inside the far post for the equalizer with 19 minutes left.
Three minutes later, Kamolz converted a penalty kick after Lone Jack forward Kennedy Hurlock was taken down inside the 18-yard box.
And the floodgates opened.
Kennedy lofted a shot into the upper far post three minutes later. And three minutes after that, Kamolz broke loose again and completed her hat trick.
“We started to get a little tired,” Korth said. “We lost track of her that one time and she tied it up. We knew coming in we had to stop one player, and we couldn’t do it.”
Summit Christian had plenty of scoring opportunities, too, especially in the first half even as Lone Jack double-teamed and harassed forwards Riley Painter and Avery Brooks. Painter had a shot bang off the crossbar midway through the first half and sailed another one just over the goal before halftime.
“We had three-four point blanks shots in the first half,” Korth said. “We just didn’t take advantage of the chances we got. They did a good job of controlling us, but a lot of it was we just didn’t finish our chances.”
Lone Jack (16-2) will head to the Class 1 final four on a 12-game winning streak, its last loss coming at home against Summit Christian on April 10. SCA (16-6) won’t be there for the first time in two years.
And even though they fell short of making it back, the Eagles could find some solace in overcoming a coaching change, an early lack of players and numerous injuries to almost get another chance.
“We had a great run here,” Brooks said. “Starting out not knowing if we would have a team or not and then coming this far I thought was impressive of us.”