It took extra time before the Olathe East Hawks escaped with a 5-4 win over the Blue Valley West Jaguars to capture the Girls 6A Soccer championship Saturday.
Senior midfielder Emily Jorgenson’s left-footer with 2:43 left in the first overtime period gave the Hawks their third championship in the last four years.
Jorgenson also collected the tying score early in the second half, off a cross from senior forward Kirstyn Corder, making it 3-3.
“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer young lady,” Olathe East head coach Terry Hair said of Jorgenson’s winner. “She’s such a great team player. For her to get the winner is a testament to the kind of person she is.”
“Oh my gosh, that was the greatest moment ever,” gushed Jorgenson. “At the beginning of overtime I could see us winning. When it was coming to me I thought this would be it. (Sophomore midfielder) Hailey Hanson played it over and I chested it and turned and it went in.”
Things weren’t as rosy for the Hawks midway through the first period when they found themselves down 3-1.
“When we got down 3-1 I tried to tell the girls it’ll be alright,” Hair said. “Our girls are good soccer girls and a good family. It’s a tribute to the girls that they played to have no regrets, to leaving nothing on the field. In the overtime you could see them dig a little deeper.”
Corder converted a penalty kick to open the scoring at 29:46 before the Jaguars reeled off three consecutive goals.
Sophomore forward Rachel Catrell knocked home a rebound after a corner kick produced a shot off the crossbar. Two minutes later, senior midfielder Alexis Aiman gave the Jaguars their first lead at 16:05 with a ten-yard strike.
Following a foul, Aiman then blasted a free kick from 35 yards out just under the crossbar for a 3-1 lead with 9:38 to play in the half.
“Blue Valley West is a physical, aggressive team,” Hair said. “After the water break in the first half they scored three goals in about four minutes and that woke us up quite a bit. We got one back before half that gave us some confidence. We were very, very lucky to tie it with seven minutes left.”
“It was an extremely physical game like it was when we played them before,” Jorgenson said. “We never stopped fighting.”
Corder halved the lead with 3:27 left in the half after Blue Valley West failed to clear, recovering the ball near the top of the penalty area and punching it past Jaguars’ junior goalkeeper Karlin Kramer.
After the intermission, Corder crossed the ball to an open teammate, Jorgenson, who tied the game with 36:55 left to play.
After Blue Valley West survived several near misses, they got a tie-breaker from sophomore forward Jamie Yearout at 25:09.
Hawks’ senior defender Lauren Schnell tied it again with 7:58 to play with a low right-footed drive from 25 yards away into the left corner of the net, and regulation ended in a 4-4 tie.
“That was such a sigh of relief,” Jorgenson said. “I could see that physically we were really ready and they were getting tired.”
In the first overtime period, Olathe East played an aggressive, attacking style into the wind, and it paid off when Jorgenson played a left-footer from just inside the penalty area into the upper left corner for the win.
The Hawks (21-0-0) completed a perfect season in winning their third state title in the past four seasons.
“I’m the luckiest man in the world,” Hair said. “There are many, many great coaches who have never had what these girls accomplished, to go through a perfect season like this. It’s hard to go undefeated. It’s a testament to the kind of girls they are.”
“We never imagined at the first that we’d have this perfect season,” Jorgenson said. “We were really fortunate.”
Blue Valley West finished the year 17-2-2 and had to fight for each win.
“It was a good game. I expected us to win,” Jaguars head coach Alex Aiman said. “It was kind of a slobberknocker of a game. I’m proud of my kids. Too bad we couldn’t have won. (Olathe East) finally played someone tough. They had a cakewalk to get here and we had to climb a mountain. I’m proud of my kids. I’m super proud. We over-achieved all year.”
“I think we had more depth, but kudos to them for playing hard,” Hair said.
Mazie takes the Third Place Game
The Maize Eagles defeated the Wichita Northwest Grizzlies 4-0 to take the Girls 6A Soccer third-place game at the College Boulevard Activities Center in Olathe Saturday.
Following their lone defeat of the season Friday, the Eagles rebounded behind a hat trick from sophomore forward Whitney Lucas.
After Lucas started the scoring in the seventh minute by driving a right-footer past Grizzlies senior goalkeeper Mackenzie Lahar, she then fed junior midfielder Madison Holmes for a one-timer to make the score 2-0 with 30:35 left in the first half.
“That’s what we’ve been doing all year,” Lucas said. “It has worked well for us and it worked again today.”
“Whitney’s teammates find her in a position to score,” said Maize head coach Jay Holmes said. “A lot of times the only defender she has to beat is the goalkeeper and that’s a good position to find yourself in.”
Lucas converted a penalty kick at 22:07 on the clock then completed the hat trick with 18 seconds left in the game off a crossing pass from Holmes.
The Eagles finished the season 20-1-0, with the only defeat coming against Blue Valley West, 7-0, the night before in the state semi-finals.
“I was fired up,” Lucas said. “After a loss like that I just wanted to come back out strong. It was our first loss. I’m still kind of bitter about it. It was tough.”
“I feel much better today,” Holmes said. “Blue Valley West played at a much higher level than either us or Northwest.”
Holmes and the Eagles had a team dinner Friday night to talk about preparing for the third-place game.
“We talked about wanting to finish strong,” Holmes said. “Nobody wants to finish fourth. There’s no trophy for fourth place for your trophy case. I think the girls showed they wanted it.”
“Today we responded very well,” Lucas said. “We did what we needed to do.”
The outcome was similar to the first time Maize played Northwest, a game which also ended 4-0.
“We played a familiar opponent in Northwest,” Holmes said. “We both played at a little higher level today.”
“You could say that,” Lucas answered when asked if there’s a rivalry. “There were only two Wichita teams in the tourney. Someone wants to bring it home and that’s what we did.”
Grizzlies head coach Bobby Bribiesca was happy with his team’s effort; they finished the year 13-8-0.
“It was a much better game (today),” Bribiesca said. “It was disappointing to give up 12 goals (in the tournament), but we didn’t give up. They wore us down, but we didn’t give up. I want to praise Mackenzie (Lahar) and (senior midfielder) Christianna (Tran), and all the seniors. They played hard and gave us a good season.”
Bribiesca sees a lot of positives for Wichita-area soccer.
“(Maize) has a good team, a young team,” Bribiesca said. “And so do we. There’s a lot of good in the future for both these teams.”