By Sam Jack
The Eisenhower Tigers held off a stubborn Salina South on Thursday, May 20, to win 1-0 and earn a spot in the 5A State soccer quarterfinals.
The Tigers scored within the game’s first few minutes. Emma Franklin drove down the right side of the pitch and passed the ball to Brianna Henning, who finished the score.
After the game, there was a mix of emotions, Tigers head coach Brandon Sommer said. The players were happy to move on to the quarterfinals, yet dissatisfied with their play.
“People were just really frustrated with us not taking advantage of our scoring chances, and allowing Salina South to feel like they were in the game as much as they were,” Sommer said. “We gave them way too much hope by not putting away our chances.”
Eisenhower controlled most of the action in the second half, but still allowed Salina South to take a couple of good shots with under six minutes to play. Both were saved by junior goalkeeper Kellie Hosford.
The 16-1-1 Tigers were slated to host the 15-3-0 Bishop Carroll Golden Eagles in a 5A State quarterfinal match on Tuesday.
“They have some really fast forwards, so we need to put pressure on their midfield,” Sommer said. “We’ll have to do a lot of work to get them slowed down, or have them take shots where they hopefully don’t have as much of an advantage. … In some areas, we have some advantages. So hopefully we’ll take advantage of those advantages.”
Colts season ends with penalty kicks
Before the Campus Colts’ regional opener at Wichita Northwest on May 19, head coach Nicole Peschel told her athletes that their best hope of winning was to force the game into penalty kicks.
Gabby Chavez, who had been key to the Colts offense this season, was injured playing Salina South on May 11 and ruled out for the rest of the season.
“We knew without Gabby on the field, we’d struggle offensively a little bit,” Peschel said. “So that was our goal, to give us a chance.”
Through regulation and four overtimes – two 10-minute overtimes, followed by two 5-minute periods – the Colts defense kept Northwest out of the goal.
“Grace Harrison, our senior center back, is a vocal leader, so she orchestrated everything for us. She was a big part of that,” Peschel said. “Alyssa Brown, our goalie, played great that game; she had a ton of saves.”
After 110 minutes at 0-0, the Colts’ upset effort fell short when Northwest won the PKs, 3-1. Northwest went on to beat Hutchinson 1-0 to take the regional championship and advance to a State quarterfinal.
“Both Coach Reece and I told them how proud we were of their effort all year long,” Peschel said. “The character of this team, there was no drama, no issues, this year. Just a great group of kids to be around.”
Goddard loses at Andover
The Goddard Lions concluded a 6-10-1 season with a 3-0 loss to Andover in the first round of regionals on May 18.
“It was not much different than the last time we played them,” Lions head coach Josh Hansen said. “Last time, we compacted their space and tried to take their chances away. This game, we tried to open up the field and develop a bit more offense, because it’s win or go home.”
Down 1-0 early in the first half, the Lions had a trio of near-scores.
“If you score just one of those three opportunities, it could change the whole outcome. But it just didn’t happen,” Hansen said.
Hansen said he was proud of his team’s efforts this season and is looking forward to next year, when the entire starting lineup, minus senior Kinsey Logan, is expected to return.