Trinity Academy freshman midfielder Allyson Henderson didn’t think her shot attempt late in the second half of the Class 4-1A girls soccer championship was going to sneak in.
To her, it looked like it was going to be high, allowing yet another golden scoring opportunity to be missed by the Knights.
But at the last minute, the ball dove inside the crossbar and found the back of the net.
Henderson’s goal proved to be the difference, as Trinity defeated Topeka Hayden 2-1 in the championship game Saturday afternoon at Kansas City Piper High. Trinity is the first Wichita-area school to win a girls soccer championship in any class.
“When I got the pass everything was going through my head, so I was trying to focus,” Henderson said. “It just barely got between the goalie’s head and the crossbar.”
Revenge wasn’t something Trinity coach Tom Nykamp would normally talk about, but Hayden isn’t a normal team.
The Wildcats had eliminated the Knights the past two seasons and went on to win the 4-1A tourament each time, so Nykamp made it point to bring up both disappointing losses to his team.
“All year, we thought we would play Hayden in the final,” Nykamp said. “We kept telling each other that we were going to beat them this time.”
The Knights had three scoring chances in the first 10 minutes of the game, but came away empty.
In the first half, Trinity had six shots on goal to only two for Hayden. The Knights also had five corner kick opportunities.
“I felt like we were dominating most of the game,” senior forward Shiloh Miller said. “I think we knew that we’d make those shots eventually.”
Hayden scored first, on an unassisted goal by Emily Gartner with 17:58 remaining in the first half.
Trinity scored with 4:18 remaining, a goal by Grace Linton off an assist from Jamie Decker.
“I never thought they had an answer for our speed,” Nykamp said. “We kept the ball rolling all game and never let them catch up.”
The Knights’ first scoring chance in the second half came with 28 minutes remaining as Miller and Madison Clinton attacked. Miller’s shot on goal came up short, however.
On the final goal, it looked as if Hayden was going to clear the ball and perhaps give itself a scoring chance, but Miller was able to intercept a Wildcat pass.
Miller heard Henderson screaming for the ball and snuck a pass to her in the middle of the field.
Just before Hayden reached her, Henderson sent the championship-winning goal towards the net.
“You know, I knew we had it in us and we wanted it more,” Henderson said. “We have such an amazing team.”
First half — Hayden, Gantler; Trinity, Decker (Linton). Second half — Trinity, Henderson (Miller).
Shots—Hayden 2-4—6, Trinity 6-4—10. Saves—Hayden (Lawler) 6-2—8, Trinity (Hoch) 2-4—6.