TOWANDA — Wichita Trinity entered Thursday night's Class 5-1A regional girls soccer game against Hutchinson intent on taking control.
"We're young and if we aren't able to get a lead early, our mindset gets shifted," Trinity coach Tom Nykamp said.
Mindset wasn't a problem. Freshman Ashley Burns scored two goals and senior Allie Blankenship scored on a penalty kick as Trinity built a three-goal lead by halftime on the way to a 3-1 victory over Hutchinson.
Trinity had an early exit from postseason play a year ago and Hutchinson supplied the loss. Burns, who has 18 goals, wasn't a part of last year's team, but she played a big part in the rematch.
"Ashley was an absolute workhorse for us tonight, I was thrilled to see her give us two goals," Nykamp said.
Blankenship's penalty kick came after Hutchinson was guilty of a handball.
"I knew that the goalie (junior Madison Wiles) was excellent at reaching the ball high and I knew I'd have to keep it low in order to score," Blankenship said.
With the three-goal lead, Trinity adjusted its strategy.
"After we had the lead secured, I decided to pull Allie back from midfield and settle in with our game plan," Nykamp said.
The Knights stymied Hutch until the 13:43 mark of the second half.
"I believe it's the best we've played all season, our team chemistry was great," Blankenship said.
Trinity improved to 14-2 and will play a quarterfinal game on Tuesday.
Wichita Trinity (14-2) 3 0 — 3 Hutchinson (12-7) 0 1 — 1
First half—Trinity, Burns, Burns, Blankenship. Second half— Hutchinson, Zerger. Shots— Trinity 7-1—8. Hutchinson 1-4—5. Saves— Trinity, McPherson 1-4—5 Hutchinson, Wiles 4-1—5.