EMPORIA — Bounce back.
It's been the theme for Kapaun Mount Carmel's boys soccer team all season, and Saturday's Class 5A third-place match was no different.
Kapaun bounced back from a tough loss in the semifinals with a 2-0 win over Topeka Seaman.
"We were really down after (Friday) night's loss," Kapaun coach Alan Shepherd said. "We talked about our motivation for this game and the biggest reason was that we wanted to bounce back and end the season with a win."
After beginning the season 0-2 and enduring a mid-season losing streak, the Crusaders found a way into the state tournament for the first time since 2007.
"I think we just have a good mentality," Kapaun senior midfielder Drue Benning said. "After (Friday) night's loss, we were pretty upset and angry. But, like we had done earlier in the season, we came back and won after losing."
Benning scored both of Kapaun's goals, the first with 29 minutes remaining in the game when he headed a corner kick from fellow midfielder Brenden Bombardier into the lower left corner of the net.
From there, Kapaun goalkeeper Kobi Mashnouk ensured the shutout win with several saves — including a diving block with 16 minutes left.
"He has just got better and better as the season has gone on," Shepherd said of Mashnouk. "In the (semifinal) loss, he played brilliant and it gave him a lot of confidence. I don't think anybody could have beat him today."
St. Thomas Aquinas defeated Liberal 3-0 in the championship game.
Kapaun Mount Carmel (15-6) 0 2 — 2 Topeka Seaman (11-8-2) 0 0 — 0
Second half—Seaman, Benning (Bombardier), Benning (Flores). Shots— Kapaun 12, Seaman 8. Saves— Kapaun, Mashnouk 5; Seaman 4.