The stage is set just as it was a year ago: Maize is taking a 19-0 record into the Class 6A girls soccer this weekend in Olathe.
“(Going to state) is definitely a tradition at Maize, and continuing it is a great feeling,” said Whitney Lucas, who scored a school record six goals Tuesday night in an 8-0 rout of North. “I’m pumped; I’m ready to go.”
Although pairings aren’t officially released until today, the Eagles could also open against the same opponent that ruined their trip to state a year ago.
Blue Valley West shut out Shawnee Mission East 4-0 on Tuesday. In last year’s 6A semifinals, Blue Valley West blanked Maize, 7-0, and the Eagles eventually finished third.
“It will obviously be tougher up at state, but I think we’re ready,” Lucas said.
Maize coach Jay Holmes said this year’s team has the capability to do well at state.
“I’ve thought that the last 2-3 years, that we had the talent to be competitive up there, but certainly I like my chances this year,” he said. “Certainly, this team has good chemistry, they get along well with each other, and that goes a long ways on the field. Hopefully, that will pay off.”
The Eagles worked their precision game to near-perfection against a gritty North squad. The Eagles first scored with 23:44 left in the first half when Madison Holmes set up Lucas. Less than a minute later, Lucas scored an unassisted goal, then scored three more to stake Maize to a 5-0 halftime lead.
Lucas scored her final goal with 16:54 to play, and her night was done. Paige Thompson and Abby Cinotto also scored second-half goals. Holmes finished with three assists, and Mackenzie Hartzog had assists on two of Lucas’ first-half goals.
Meanwhile, North (11-8) couldn’t get much going against a stifling Maize defense. Not only were the Eagles able to completely stop the Redskins, the Maize defenders often were booming kicks deep into North territory, which helped set up Eagles goals on a number of occasions.
Redskins sophomore standout Jessica Quezada found the going much tougher Tuesday than last week against Hutchinson, when she scored all of North’s goals in a 3-2 victory.
“They had the passes, the shots and the crosses and everything,” she said.
Even though she was bothered by a leg injury suffered May 8 against Kapaun that caused her right leg to be wrapped, she still displayed some of the speed that had ousted Hutch.
“We were able to keep playing her some, but she kept hurting it more and more,” Redskins coach Dale Spaeth said of Quezada.
First half – 1. Lucas,M, (Holmes); 2. Lucas, M, (un.); 3. Lucas, M, (Davis); 4. Lucas, M, (Hartzog); 5. Lucas, M, (Hartzog). Second half – 6. Thompson, M, (Cinotto); 7. Lucas, M, (Holmes); 8. Cinotto, M, (Holmes); Shots – North 0-0—0; Maize 18-14—32. Saves – North, Robles 9-7—16; Maize, Shupe 0-0—0.