A red card left Maize shorthanded on Friday night in the Class 5A girls soccer semifinals, and St. Thomas Aquinas took advantage in a 3-0 victory.
Aquinas will play in its ninth straight championship game Saturday. Maize will face Carroll for third place at noon.
The Saints (16-3-1) overwhelmed Maize, scoring its goals after the red card.
“We were on the fortunate end of the red card tonight,” Aquinas coach Craig Ewing said. “We have to use this momentum going into tomorrow.”
In the 29th minute, Kaylee Swanson was called for a handball in front of the Maize goal, leading to the ensuing red card. Mallory Heying put the ball in the top right corner of the net for a 1-0 Aquinas lead.
“That red card was unfortunate,” Maize senior Katie Krier said. “I love how we didn’t quit and fought to the end.”
Katelyn Heying scored on a header off a corner kick from Hallie Klanke in the 33rd minute, giving the Saints a 2-0 halftime advantage.
Seconds into the second half, Klanke received a nice through ball from Heying, Klanke tapped in past the Maize keeper, Raquelle Hardin for the 3-0 advantage.
Maize had a breakaway in the seventh minute, but Elizabeth Palmer’s shot was deflected away.
In the 65th minute, Maize’s Makayla Toth took it away from the Aquinas goalie and appeared to have an open net. But Aquinas freshman Kate Goza cleared the ball away.
“We’re relatively young,” Maize coach Jay Holmes said. “We’ll use this as motivation going in against Carroll tomorrow.”
Six Maize seniors reached the state semifinals for a fourth straight year.
“Keeping this streak is nice,” Krier said. “We really wanted this one.”
Halftime: Aquinas 2-0. Aquinas: M. Heying, PK, K. Heying (Klanke), Klanke (K. Heying), Shots: Aquinas 10-10--20, Maize-3-1--4. Saves: Aquinas, McEnroe 1-0--1, Hartnett 0-1--1 ; Hardin, 4-6--10