While she doesn’t play in a tradition-rich program or on a team that will compete for a championship, Southeast senior Rosa Urista Chico has quietly become the City League’s most dominant force.
After a breakout season earned her all-league and all-region honors as a junior, Urista Chico has continued her torrid pace into this season. After 10 games, she’s scored 18 goals and assisted on six others – accounting for all but four of Southeast’s goals.
“Talent-wise,” Southeast coach Tom Noonan said, “she’s easily one of the top-three players in the city.”
Urista Chico has phenomenal speed to go along with endurance that Noonan says is the best he’s ever seen. She sees the field well and recognizes when teams are over-playing her and has the ball skills to distribute to her teammates.
This season senior Alexis Thomas, the team’s other forward, has scored six goals.
“I think the biggest thing is that we returned pretty much everybody around her,” Noonan said. “We have players that know her style and work really well together to help her out. They’re helping take away some of that pressure and she’s unselfish enough to find them and put them in positions to score.”
Urista Chico, also an honor-roll student, has signed her letter of intent to play at Butler Community College next season. Southeast (3-7) will play at North on Thursday.
But the glaring omission from the Eagles’ resume is a state championship, as they have fallen at the state tournament against Kansas City competition every season.
So coach Jay Holmes hopes last week’s 4-1 victory on the road over Olathe Northwest signals a change is coming this season for Maize, which is 8-0 and has out-scored opponents 61-3.
“Mentally, it goes a long way in helping us when we get into the postseason,” Holmes said. “It’s no secret we haven’t beat a Kansas City-area team in the last six years. I think right now we’re playing our best soccer and that’s a great thing.”
Holmes believes this team will be different because Maize has never had as many options to go to on offense. Evidence could be found in the Olathe Northwest victory, as Katie McClure, Paige Swanson, Hadley Davis, and Ashley Zane all scored.
The defense has also been solidified by center back Kelsey Quick, who cleans up the messes in front of Saige Baalman, who has rapidly developed into one of the area’s top keepers.
“This team just has so much speed,” Holmes said. “Our speed of play and our ability to match up physically on 50/50 challenges around the field, I think those are the two key areas that we excelled in that game.”
Maize will play another KC-area team in Blue Valley North, this time at home, on May 10.