Blue Valley Southwest’s Delaney Kooken had one of those moments when everything fell together Friday night, and as a result, the Timberwolves will be playing today for the Class 5A soccer title.
Kooken found herself in the Bishop Carroll goal mouth with the ball just a foot away just 5:32 into the game. She quickly pushed it into the net before Carroll goalkeeper Jami Reichenberger could react, and it stood up for a 1-0 semifinal victory. The Timberwolves improved to 13-5-2.
“I was worried at first that she had it, but then at the same time I also had the confidence that I had hit the right shot,” said Kooken, a senior midfielder. “It was going in the goal, and it was going to be the game-deciding thing.
“It’s about making the right run and getting to the spot where you’re supposed to be, and we were able to do that.”
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Blue Valley Southwest’s reward for the semifinal triumph will be to try to deny St. Thomas Aquinas its fifth consecutive state title.
“We’ve been working for it all year, and we’re going to do our best, and we’re going to win,” Kooken said.
The Saints left little doubt in their semifinal, scoring three times in the first 8:20 and cruising past Kapaun Mount Carmel 6-0.
Senior Kelly Sweeney scored twice for Aquinas, and junior Olivia Meyers assisted on three of the goals and scored one.
“We got off to a quick start,” Aquinas coach Craig Ewing said. “We just came out with so much energy that I thought that was the key.”
Kapaun didn’t have a shot on goal in the first half and had just two shots for the game.
The Saints improved to 19-1.