TOPEKA — After competing for 110 minutes Saturday, Maize sophomore forward Paige Thompson had no intention of allowing fatigue to affect her.
“I was a little worn out, but I knew what I had to do to keep the team going,” Thompson said. “This was a big deal.”
Thompson certainly helped close the deal. Her goal in the fourth round of penalty kicks proved to be the difference as Maize edged Manhattan 1-0 in the Class 6A third-place game at Hummer Park.
Neither team scored in regulation or the two 10-minute and two five-minute sudden victory periods. Maize had its chances, including a rocket off the crossbar by freshman Whitney Lucas with 7 minutes, 45 seconds left in the second half.
Maize connected on three of its first four penalty shots in the best-of-5 scenario, breaking a 2-2 deadlock when Thompson delivered in the fourth round. Manhattan (17-4) needed Sierra Meyer to tie it, but she misfired wide right of the goal on the Indians’ fifth try. Two of the Indians’ penalty kicks caromed off the crossbar.
Maize (20-1) notched its 14th shutout. The manner in which the Eagles bounced back from a 7-0 loss in the semifinals to Blue Valley Northwest impressed Maize coach Jay Holmes.
“To respond after such a horrible loss speaks so much to this team’s character,” Holmes said, “and to come here (final four) for a fifth straight year is just incredible. We have hopes to make it six straight with the talent we have coming back.”
No school from the Wichita area has recorded a girls state title, but Holmes believes it can happen. Maize senior forward Kelsey Lyden thinks upgrading the regular-season schedule will help programs like Maize compete against schools from the Kansas City area.
“Coming up here is kind of a shock,” said Lyden, referring to what the Eagles faced against Blue Valley Northwest, “but being around a team like that and playing against that kind of talent helps you so much. I think it would help us a lot to play more teams like that.”
Maize (20-1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0
Manhattan (17-4) 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0
Penalty kicks—Maize, Cinotto (goal), Lucas (goal), Lyden (no goal), Thompson (goal). Manhattan, Lease (no goal), Levering (goal), Then (goal), Meyer (no goal). Shots—Maize 5-10-0-1-0-1—17, Manhattan
2-1-0-1-1-0—5. Saves—Maize, Black 1-0-0-1-1-0—3; Manhattan, Thompson 4-4-0-1-0-1—10.Championship
Blue Valley Northwest (18-3) 1 0 — 1
SM West (18-2-1) 0 0 — 0
First half—BV Northwest, Chadick (unassisted). Shots—BV Northwest 3-3—6, SM West 3-3—6. Saves—BV Northwest, Lillard 3-2—5; SM West, Allin 1-2—3.