Barron sends Wichita North to red bracket title
After biding its time to gain a foothold in the 6A boys’ soccer scene, Wichita North used an appearance in the quarterfinals of last year’s postseason to vault itself into notoriety this year.
The Redskins are holding a state ranking and an unblemished 3-0 record to start the year after sweeping through the Titan Classic red bracket at Wichita South.
North is visible. Now, the players have an opportunity to make their own name. Juan Barron seized his shot by nailing the game winner in the championship game against Derby (4-1).
“I feel good about that. People are going to know about me,” Barron said.
Barron knocked home a goal eight minutes into the second half to break a long-standing tie between two defenses that seemingly closed all gaps inside the 20s. In the second half, the North wings and defense spread out, Barron said.
“We’re pretty deep, and we keep the pressure up the entire time,” said Brent Lewis, North head coach. “Sometimes it takes us a while to get our chemistry.”
Noel Martinez added a cushion for the Redskins, scoring with 12 minutes remaining in the game and giving North a 2-0 win.
Derby was riding its own momentum into the contest, having knocked off two ranked teams on its way to a surprising perfect record after four games. The Panthers were unable to add a third casualty.
“We just didn’t finish in the first half. If we would have put our opportunities away in the first half, I think it would have changed how the game went,” said Paul Burke, Derby head coach. “In the second half, we just got countered while pushing people forward to try to get the goal. Obviously we wanted to win.”
North’s early season success has made them the team to beat in the City League. The discussion about fielding a potential state contender, while still hushed, is gaining steam with each victory.
“We’re going to show up every day and work as hard as possible,” Lewis said. “That’s all we care about. What other people think doesn’t really matter to us.”
Wichita Northwest rallies late to defend blue bracket crown
All Jake Carter had to do was stay calm.
The senior defender just needed to keep his composure with the pressure of every fan in the stadium watching his penalty kick –one that would send Wichita Northwest home as champions of the Titan Classic blue bracket for the second consecutive year.
“I’m not the go-to guy for penalties,” Carter said. “I was just walking up there trying to keep my head, asking God to let me finish this shot.”
When his shot was done, Carter clinched his fists and tossed them into the air, celebrating the Grizzlies 2-1 win over Great Bend.
Great Bend took a 1-0 edge early in the first half and kept the momentum for much of the second half, but a goal by junior Andres Lleras with five minutes remaining was enough to send the game into overtime. Neither team scored after 20 minutes of extra play.
Goalkeeper Hayden Johnson came up with a save against a Great Bend penalty kick to give Carter the opportunity for the win.
“That was a good game for us,” said Bobby Bribiesca, Northwest head coach.
Wichita East wins white bracket behind Alvarado hat trick
Wichita East put the game away early, staking itself a 4-0 advantage heading into halftime against Wichita Southeast in the Titan Classic white bracket title game.
A solid second-half approach gave the Blue Aces (3-0) a 6-0 win.
Jonathan Alvarado spearheaded East’s offense, netting a hat trick with three goals. He assisted on another.
The sweep of the bracket puts East on pace to best its 5-12 mark a year ago.