After suffering a difficult 5-0 loss to Blue Valley Northwest in the Class 6A state semifinals on Friday, Maize’s girls soccer team came back to defeat Manhattan 5-0 in the third place game Saturday.
“I just wanted them to respond and play at a high level after yesterday’s loss,” Maize coach Jay Holmes said. “Sometimes it’s difficult to get up for a third place game, and I thought they did that. They really played at a high level that entire game.”
Maize went against the wind in the first half, which limited its opportunities in front of the goal. The Eagles only had three shots in the half, but managed to score with 13:09 remaining in the period. Maize’s Paige Thompson sent a corner kick across the goal from the right side that Hadley Davis finished at the back post for the only goal of the half.
But having the wind in the second half was comforting for Maize.
“To score that first goal going into the wind really made a difference for us, it gave us a psychological lift,” Holmes said. “I anticipated that we would do well in the second half having the wind the way it was today.”
Manhattan kept the game even after half, with most of the play in the middle of the field, but after the 11:32 mark, Maize’s Mia Taylor threw in the ball to space that Whitney Lucas ran onto. Lucas crossed the ball in front of the goal, and when Katie McClure’s flick was stopped, Rebecca Andrus finished for Maize’s second goal.
“After we lost yesterday, we decided today that we really had to work together. In the middle we became stronger today I think, and it paid off,” Taylor said.
A minute later Lucas broke away and finished a rebounded shot off a defender for another goal. Taylor had a goal from outside of the penalty area on the left side of the goal just three minutes after Lucas’ goal, and Paige Swanson sealed the win with a breakaway goal with 7:29 remaining. Maize limited Manhattan to only one shot all game.
“We tried to go with the wind the first half to try to take advantage of it,” Manhattan coach Mike Sanchez said. “We had opportunities, I don’t think we capitalized enough in the first half with the wind.”
Maize’s five goals were scored by five different players, showing its numerous threats.
“Whenever you can spread the ball around like that and create opportunities for different kids, it’s better. It makes our team that much more dangerous,” Holmes said.
Blue Valley Northwest defeated Blue Valley North 2-1 in the championship game, with both of Northwest’s goals coming from Emily Herndon, and North’s goal coming with only 11:28 remaining in the game from Macy Dodd.
BV Northwest 2, BV North 1
First half—Northwest, Herndon (free kick). Second half—Northwest, Herndon (unassisted); North, Dodd (Shogbamimu).
Shots—North 0-4—4; Northwest 5-5—10. Saves—North, Jones 4-4—8; Northwest, Nicolay 0-3—3.
Maize 5, Manhattan 0
First half—Maize, Davis (Thompson). Second half—Maize, Andrus (McClure), Lucas (unassisted), Taylor (unassisted), Swanson (unassisted).
Shots—Manhattan 1-1—2; Maize 3-9—12. Saves—Manhattan, Fiser 2-4—6; Maize, Baallman 1-1—2.