A year after finishing as runner-up, the Blue Valley West Jaguars are state soccer champions.
Blue Valley West received a pair of goals from sophomores Ellie Schram and Peyton Kennedy in beating Blue Valley North 2-1 in the Kansas Class 6A girls state championship game Saturday at Hummer Sports Park.
“We were so motivated,” said Kennedy, who scored the go-ahead goal with 35 minutes left in the second half. “We came in second last year, and it hurt our hearts. We were crying. We were so upset. From the beginning of this season, we decided to dedicate everything to winning state.”
Shawnee Mission West topped the Jaguars in last year’s state championship game.
This was the Jaguars’ first girls soccer state title since winning consecutive crowns in 2009-10. The Jaguars finished the season with a 19-1 record, falling only to St. Teresa’s Academy.
“We’re the best,” Blue Valley West coach Alex Aiman said. “We beat everyone else. The 5A and 4A champs, we beat them all.”
Blue Valley North (17-4) jumped out to a 1-0 lead when senior Neha Igwe scored with 25:33 left in the first half.
“They came out strong,” Aiman said. “It was a hard-fought game. We are happy to come out on top.”
Schram scored the tying goal with 13:51 left in the first half.
Early in the second half, the Jaguars took the lead on Kennedy’s shot from about 18 yards out.
“I got the ball in the corner of the box,” Kennedy said. “I was going to cut it out wide, and then I saw a small channel between two players toward the middle of the box and I decided to rip it to the side netting.”
Blue Valley North coach Tim Wiseman said there wasn’t much his team could do to defend Kennedy’s shot.
“That second shot was amazing for them,” he said. “There was nothing we really could do about that.”
The Mustangs mustered several scoring opportunities in the game’s final 10 minutes but were unable to get the ball in the net.
Blue Valley West scored six goals combined in the semifinal and championship games, and they were made by six different players.
“We have lots of weapons, don’t we? This is just a great team,” Aiman said.
▪ Carly Bachelor scored 45 seconds into the fourth overtime, and Washburn Rural topped Wichita East 2-1 in the third-place game Saturday.