For almost a decade, the Maize girls soccer team has been nearly invincible for teams around Wichita.
So when the Eagles lost to Bishop Carroll, Maize South, and Northwest in April, teams across the city rejoiced in what seemed like a blip in the Maize dynasty. The team heard the whispers. Their attack was just ordinary this season. Their defense was spotty. Nothing to be scared of.
Maize has been waiting for its chance to remind everyone why it has been the standard in Wichita and plans on continuing to be and that opportunity came on Friday night. The Eagles played a thriller with Carroll on turf with MaKayla Toth providing the game-winner in the 64th minute with her 35th goal of the season to help Maize prevail 2-1 over Carroll.
Think Maize (12-3) was down and out? Think again after the Eagles handed Carroll (13-2) just its second loss of the season.
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“I’m really proud of the girls and that a great win for us in a playoff atmosphere,” Maize coach Jay Holmes said. “We are really playing well right now and this gives us a lot of confidence going into the Newton game on Tuesday.”
The teams traded jaw-dropping goals in the first half, as Kaylee Swanson curled her corner kick into the upper-90 of the goal back post for Maize, then Carroll’s Erin Akin answered with a golden strike from 30 yards out that beat the keeper and slipped under the cross bar.
But Maize,which has won its last six games by a margin of 34-2, found the game-winner midway through the second half. Ashlyn Lakin flung a flip throw into the box and Carroll’s clearance sent it right back to Lakin, who took a touch toward the baseline and her cross found Toth, who was lost in the mix, as the senior guided the ball into the back of the net on the back post.
“Of all the people you don’t want to leave free, it’s MaKayla Toth,” Carroll coach Greg Rauch said.
Carroll has allowed just six goals this season. The first two came at the end of games with the junior-varsity on the field, but the last four have all come on set pieces.
“That might be something we take a look at in the coming weeks for sure,” Rauch said. “We’ve got to do a better job properly defending those and sticking with runners.”
Carroll sent numbers forward in the last 10 minutes and applied pressure with its own 30-goal-scorer in Hanleigh Allen, but Maize’s defense was able to survive.
“And it took just about everything we had to keep Carroll out of the back of the net,” Holmes said.
Carroll (13-2) remains a game ahead of Maize (12-3) in the regional standings for the No. 2 seed, although both teams have difficult games remaining. Carroll plays Northwest on Tuesday, while Maize hosts Newton on the same day — both games will decide league championships between undefeated teams.
|Bishop Carroll (13-2)||1||0||—||1|
First half: 1. Maize, Swanson; 2. Carroll, Akin. Second half: 3. Maize, Toth (Lakin). Shots: Carroll 10, Maize 9. Saves: Carroll, McCorry 7; Maize, Hardin 9.