The Maize Eagles had two-time defending champion Blue Valley Northwest on the ropes Friday night in the Class 6A girls soccer semifinals at the College Boulevard Activities Center.
The Eagles had scored twice in a six-minute span and had a 2-1 lead with just less than 16 minutes remaining. But Northwest’s Cece Kizer then took over, scoring three goals in the next 10 minutes, 15 seconds to lift the Huskies to a 4-2 win in the Class 6A state semifinals.
BV Northwest (18-1-1) advances to the title round against Washburn Rural while Maize (18-2) will face Shawnee Mission West in the third-place match, scheduled for noon Saturday.
“That’s Cece. We knew she was a talented player,” Maize coach Jay Holmes said. “She’s been their star player for the last four years. Frankly, I’m glad she’s graduating.”
After a scoreless first half, Blue Valley Northwest took a 1-0 lead on Lauren Beischel’s long, bouncing goal. But the Eagles, whose lone loss before Friday was to Wichita Northwest, knotted the match on Katie McClure’s header off a corner kick with 22:08 remaining. Six minutes later, McClure beat her defender and scored from 15 yards out and suddenly Maize had a 2-1 lead.
But Kizer, who entered the night with 30 goals on the season, scored 48 seconds later to tie the game again. Just 1:03 after that, she gave the Huskies a 3-2 lead. She iced the win less than 10 minutes later with her third goal. All three goals came from one-on-one situations.
“That’s a tough way to lose, but I thought we did some things well,” Holmes said. “I thought we did a good of maintaining possessions at times and getting the ball out wide. We attacked outside and created some chances for us.”