Goddard coach Ryan Rooney raved about his goalie, Landon Babcock, even after Kapaun pummeled the Lions 6-0 in their Class 5A sub-state game. To be sure, that score would have been even more lopsided had Babcock not been on top of his game.
“We just possessed the ball really well,” Kapaun coach Alan Shepherd said. “We build our attack and we try to find spaces and find the right opportunity to shoot.”
Rooney said he saw too many teams do that to his team this season.
“If you get out-shot in 15 out of 17 games, you’re playing defense a lot,” Rooney said.
Kapaun (12-5) advances to play Salina South (5-11-1), which was a 2-1 winner over Andover in sub-state.
“We have a strong squad,” Kapaun midfielder Rhys Allen said, “and I think we can play with any squad in 5A.”
The Crusaders admitted they didn’t know much about Goddard before the game.
“We just looked at their record,” Allen said. “We didn’t think it’d be the most difficult game we’ve played, but they actually came out pretty strong.”
That didn’t stop Allen from scoring less than nine minutes into the game, off an assist from Ian Daley. Seven minutes later, Allen scored again from an assist from Braeden Marshall.
With 16:25 remaining in the first half, Marshall scored a goal of his own with an assist from Jake Dreiling, and Kapaun went into halftime with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
“We have a lot of speed up top, and they didn’t have the fastest outside backs, so we tried to use that to our advantage,” Allen said.
A little more than five minutes into the second half, Logan Wells scored an unassisted goal for Kapaun. Six minutes after that, Daly did the same, increasing the Crusaders’ lead to 5-0.
Then came what would have been the most beautiful goal of the game, except it didn’t count. Standing near the left goalpost, Allen turned a line drive pass into a gorgeous side volley bicycle kick that found the back of Kapaun’s net. As he ran around the field celebrating what he thought was a hat trick, the referees ruled Allen had been offsides.
Allen disagreed with the call, he said, but he didn’t seem to bothered by it. Kapaun got its sixth goal anyway, courtesy of Grant Wells, with an assist from Juan Montelongo with about 12 minutes remaining.
By then, Kapaun had replaced it starting goalkeeper with the backup. It was a stress-free night for the Crusaders, who started their postseason in dominant fashion.
“I hadn’t seen Goddard, and I really didn’t know what to expect from them,” Shepherd said. “But I knew what to expect from us. We take what defenses give us.”