Andover’s girls soccer team is 12-4-1 and seeded fourth in the Class 5A South Central Region.
Not too bad for a rebuilding year under a first-year coach.
Wichita Wings defender Chris Lemons took over at his alma mater after playing in the Wings’ indoor soccer revival last season.
“I was told before the season that this was going to be a rebuilding year,” he said. “And in getting the team and starting them off, I knew there was something special; it was just a matter of getting them believing in themselves, believing in each other, and bringing that out on the pitch.”
To say his players have responded well might be an understatement.
“It’s awesome,” sophomore Ana Dilkes said after an 8-0 victory Tuesday over West. “He’s a great coach. He’s taught us a lot.”
Senior Laura Sellew said the season has made for good memories in her final high school season.
“He’s incredible; we love him,” she said. “We couldn’t have done this without him.”
The Trojans will try to advance further tonight when they play host to Winfield (11-5-1).
Jaguars get revenge — Earlier Tuesday at Andover, Andover Central (10-6-1) earned the right to travel to Hays (14-3) for a game tonight.
But it was anything but easy.
Goddard played the Jaguars to a scoreless tie through 110 minutes, sending the decision to penalty kicks. Jaguars junior goalkeeper Evan Stamp stopped three of the Lions’ first four penalty tries, then took off her gloves and kicked the ball past Goddard’s Michaela Moore. She then blocked the Lions’ final attempt to seal the 2-1 penalty-kick victory.
During the regular season, Goddard had defeated Andover Central 3-1.
“Oh my gosh, they just kept me on the edge of my seat the entire game,” Jaguars coach Stephanie Garcia said. “(Stamp) is an incredible goalie, and she can do some incredible things.”
Garcia said the Jaguars are ready to play at Hays.
“Yes, we are road warriors,” she said. “We’re going to be whether we are or not.”
North moves on — Good things have come in small packages for North this year, specifically diminutive sophomore Jessica Quezada, who has 29 goals heading into tonight’s Class 6A regional game at Hutchinson.
Quezada has been among the City League scoring leaders all season and scored three of the Redskins’ goals in a 4-1 first-round victory Monday night over East. The victory avenged a 4-2 regular-season loss.
Coach Dale Spaeth said that Brook Weakly, who scored the other goal against East, and sweeper Dalia Fernandez also have played key roles for North (10-7, 3-5).