Varsity Soccer

'All the marbles' are on the line for City League girls soccer title

East (top) and Carroll (bottom) will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at Carroll for the City League title.
East (top) and Carroll (bottom) will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at Carroll for the City League title. The Wichita Eagle

The last hurdles have been cleared.

Carroll will host East at 7 p.m. Thursday, and the winner will win the City League title outright. The Aces are looking for their first league title since 2004.

Carroll beat Northwest 2-0 on the road Tuesday night. Freshman Khloe Schuckman continued her meteoric rise in the Wichita area, scoring another goal. She is now the Golden Eagles' second leading scorer with eight this season. And for good measure, Lauren Brooks added another as the game drew to a close.

Carroll did it without its talisman, Hanleigh Allen.

Upon her first evaluation, Allen was believed to be out about 2-3 days. But after an MRI, doctors confirmed she has some structural damage in her leg and will be out for the title game and perhaps beyond that.

Still, Carroll put it together

"It took a little bit for people to figure out where the runs go without Hanleigh," coach Greg Rauch said. "But eventually we figured it who was going to step up and take the handlebars."

Replacing Allen's goal-scoring production will not be easy. She has 20 goals this season in just nine games. But captain Maguire Sullivan said it has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

"Hanleigh will still be a big part of what we do from here on out," she said. "On and off the field."

For East, coach Dylan Gruntzel said Thursday is about making history.

"I think that's motivation in itself, to do something not a lot of people can say they've done," he said. "A lot of people in the City League who aren't a Kapaun or a Carroll kid, they can't say they've won city."

East hasn't lost since the Titan Classic at the beginning of the season, and the Aces will look to keep that rolling Thursday.

"We have a goal-scorer and a good goalkeeper," Gruntzel said. "We have a good supporting cast and a good back line and a very good midfield.

"Everybody understands what their role is and what we're trying to do."