Two years ago, Maize South lost to Blue Valley Southwest in the Class 5A girls soccer semifinals. It stung the next day when Maize South lost again, to Bishop Carroll on penalty kicks in the third-place game.
“That loss really hurt (to Carroll),” Maize South senior Mariah Moore said. “We have a lot of fire to come back and show what we can do.”
A chance at redemption for players on that 2015 team begins Friday at Friends University. Maize South faces Bishop Miege in a 5 p.m. Class 4-1A semifinal. Win and the Mavericks get their first shot at a state soccer championship.
“We understand what’s at stake on Friday,” senior Hayden Burnett said. “We have to come out strong no matter what.”
Maize South (17-1-1) has been to the semifinals once and lost to rival Maize in last season’s 5A quarterfinals. A championship has eluded the Mavericks despite a 45-13-1 record over three years.
“We have a talented group,” Maize South coach Marlon Rios said. “We have good depth. There isn’t a lot of fall off when our subs come in.”
Miege (11-7-1) won the 2016 championship in 4-1A and has won six of its last eight matches after a 5-5-1 start.
“They play in a very tough conference,” Rios said. “They’re battled tested. They’ve been in these big games before. Don’t let that record fool you.”
Playing the big name and defending champion hasn’t stunted Maize South’s confidence. The Mavericks have shut out their last four opponents behind goalkeeper Abbey Wilkes and allowed more than one goal once this season.
“We’re ready to do what no other Maize South team has done before,” senior Avery Green said. “It would be an amazing to leave our mark with a championship.”