EMPORIA, Kan.—From the start of the 5A consolation game, it appeared as though the No. 1 seed Bishop Carroll might pile on a mountain of goals against Valley Center.
Less than five minutes after the start of the game, Mallory Walden banged home a juicy rebound off a direct kick for the Lady Golden Eagles to take a 1-0 lead before the faithful could settle into their seats and enjoy some popcorn.
But Valley Center stayed focused and came back to beat Carroll 2-1 to take home a third place trophy.
After the quick start for Carroll, Valley Center didn’t spend much time moping around. Two minutes after the Walden goal to put Carroll up, Valley Center found the answer.
Moving into the wind on a rainy day, Hanna Shelton hammered the equalizer into the back of the net.
In just the first seven minutes of the game, the ball bound the back of each net in wet conditions.
But as quickly as they came, the game settled down for the rest of the half. Carroll controlled the ball, but tried to force it to the middle where the Lady Hornets’ defense was waiting.
At the end of the first 40 minutes, the score was tied 1-1.
The second half picked up where the first ended. Both teams had trouble finding quality scoring chances and the pouring rain made the ball hard to handle.
However, 14 minutes into the second half, Valley Center’s Casie Greenlee fired a long shot from the right side that slipped into the back of the net to put the Lady Hornets in control.
Carroll made several valiant attempts to tie the game at the end. But the Greenlee goal proved to be the game-winner and gave Valley Center a third-place finish.
In the championship game, St. Thomas Aquinas continued its complete domination over the sport with a 5-0 win over Blue Valley Southwest. Since girls soccer became an official KSHSAA event in 1993, the Lady Saints have smoked the competition, with this latest title being the team’s 11th.
This also makes Aquinas a back-to-back champion after the Lady Saints took home the big trophy last year as well.
Nichole Alfonsin found the back of the net at will for Aquinas, leading the team with two goals in the championship game, but she was not alone.
Chloe Mugg, Sarah Heilman, and Mary Disidore all scored for the Lady Saints to pad the championship lead.