MAIZE — When it came down to it, Maize wasn't able to make the most of its scoring opportunities against top-ranked Blue Valley West, and a goal by the Jaguars' Quinten McElvain with six minutes remaining in the second half was enough to leave Maize with a disappointing 1-0 defeat.
The Eagles surrendered the goal on a throw-in and a rebound that left keeper Blake Andrews out of position to make the save on a scramble around the goal. Despite that goal, the Maize defense threw its weight around and made plays to put its forwards in position to find the net. That aggression left Andrews thinking that the outcome could have been different.
"I give them credit. They're a good team," Andrews said. "I think we played just as well. We gave it our all. Any other day between these two teams it would always be a good game — 1-0 or 2-0, but it would always be closed. They did a good job today and I respect them."
Maize coach Mike Darrah saw plenty of chances for the Eagles to get the upper hand on BV West, the top-ranked Class 6A team in the coaches poll — Maize was ranked No. 4. Maize forwards Derek Hofeling and Landon Shupe had shots on goal off of corner kicks in the second half that were snagged by BV West goalie Conner Wurth at the last possible moments.
Then Maize junior Logan Vestring put a little too much touch on a kick that seemed to be a golden opportunity to score with about 11 minutes left. He had Wurth in a one-on-one situation.
"It was a battle. They had their opportunities," Darrah said. "I think we had a couple of better opportunities. We just didn't capitalize. It was a good game. They did and we didn't."
The Maize defense played a solid first half but did have a minor breakdown in the second half that left Andrews in a vulnerable position. BV West midfielder Taylor Inkley found an opening and sprinted in front of everyone for a breakaway opportunity. He fired too hard and too high, missing the goal.
Eagles defender Bryton Quick felt good about his team's effort.
"We played good," Quick said. "It was unlucky they scored on a dumb goal. We had our opportunities. That's just the way it happened today."
BV West0 1—1 Maize0 0—1
Second half—BV West McElvain (unassisted). Shots— BV West 5-6—11. Maize 6-6—12. Saves— BV West, Wurth 2-3—5. Maize, Andrews 2-5—7.