TOPEKA — Maize sophomore forward Abby Cinotto used a four-letter word to describe what happened Friday to the Eagles' soccer team.
The word? Fast. Speed ultimately killed Maize, as the Blue Valley Northwest Huskies trounced the Eagles 7-0 in a Class 6A semifinal at Hummer Sports Park. The loss, the first this season, put Maize (19-1) in the consolation game at noon today.
"They were just so fast. We haven't seen anything like it," Cinotto said. "We didn't have enough people marking them. We don't have competition like this in Wichita."
Blue Valley Northwest (17-3) is in familiar territory. The Huskies advanced to the title game again, and they hope for something better this time. Blue Valley West beat Blue Valley Northwest in the 2010 final.
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Maize notched 13 shutouts this season and had outscored its opponents 84-8, but it discovered what life is like on the other end of that type of beating. The Eagles had five shots on goal, a mere two in the first half. Blue Valley Northwest, ranked No. 22 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national poll, built a 4-0 advantage by intermission. The Huskies' attitude made a difference, according to Blue Valley Northwest senior forward Hannah Chadick.
"We knew we couldn't underestimate them, so we came out hard," said Chadick, who scored the Huskies' first goal in the second half.
Maize, making its fifth consecutive appearance in the final four, quickly found itself in a hole. Blue Valley Northwest sophomore midfielder Emily Herndon, who scored twice in the game, tallied her first goal less than 5 minutes into the contest. The Huskies really separated themselves from the Eagles by scoring three times in the last 13 minutes before halftime.
"By far the best team we have played," Maize senior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Black said. "I think it was their crosses that hurt us. They always had somebody in the middle, and we got caught."
Black, though, isn't hanging her head about the setback. She still has goals. Maize will need some of those on the field today in order for her and the Eagles to get the job done.
"We can come back and win the third-place game," Black said. "This was the type of game that can make us better."
Maize (19-1) 0 0 — 0 Blue Valley Northwest (17-3) 4 3 — 7
First half—E. Herndon (B. Kelley). E. Chadick (E. Huggett). M. Ong (unassisted). K. Priest (E. Chadick). Second half— H. Chadick (E. Chadick). E. Herndon (unassisted). C. Renner (Ong). Shots— Maize 2-3 — 5; Blue Valley Northwest 12-9 — 21. Saves— Maize, K. Black, 8-6 — 14 ; Blue Valley Northwest, E. Lillard and T. Pemberton, 2-3 — 5.
SM West 1, Manhattan 0
SM West (18-1-1) 0 1 — 1 Manhattan (17-3) 0 0 — 0
Second half—S.Mirzmontez. Shots— SM West 9, Manhattan 1. Saves— SM West, Allin, 0. Manhattan, Thompson, 5.