Kansas City Kansas Community College’s magic soccer ride kept right on rolling Tuesday.
Despite a 1-0 deficit and a 1½-hour rain and lightning delay, the Lady Blue Devils rallied with two goals in the final 14 minutes of the second half for a 3-1 win over Dodge City and a berth in the Region VI DI semifinals.
KCKCC (12-1-1) will take on Barton County (11-3-1) Saturday at the Stryker Soccer Complex in Wichita. It will be the second meeting of the two teams, the Blue Devils winning 3-2 at Barton Sept. 24. Game time has not been announced but it is expected KCKCC and Barton will collide at noon with Hutchinson (8-3-3) meeting Butler County (6-8) at 2 p.m. in Saturday’s other semifinal. The finals will be played Sunday and all contests are scheduled to be streamed on the KJCCC or NJCAA websites.
“This might be the first day we’ve had the entire starting eleven in good health since the middle of the season,” said KCKCC Coach Shawn Uhlenhake. “The group may get anxious at times but its put us in the best situation going into the playoffs.”
While almost the entire first half was played in Dodge City territory, it was the Blue Devils who trailed 1-0 when the Conquistadors’ Gabby Staley beat KCKCC goalkeeper Susie Lopez to a misplaced kick for an open net goal with 6:15 remaining in the first half. It was only the 10th goal given up all season, the fewest in the Jayhawk Conference.
However, the Blue Devils quickly responded, Maddy Broeker scoring from in front of the goal on a pass from Melissa Siegel with 2:45 left in the half. “The score just before halftime was very important,” said Uhlenhake. “We were playing well and had some really good opportunities but our shots were right at the goalie or just off. I wasn’t concerned, it was just a matter of when we scored although in the playoffs you never know.”
Jaidlyn Yingling broke the 1-1 tie with 13:23 left in the game. Getting assists from Broeker and Paige Liston, Yingling poked home the go-ahead goal in a scramble in front of the goal. Less than three minutes later, Katharina Oelschlaeger added an insurance goal on an assist from Kennia Acuna Soto with 10:56 left.
Unofficially, KCKCC got off 31 shots to just six for Dodge City. “Our midfielders (Kayley Pedersen, Accuna Soto, Oelschlaeger) took control of the game, winning all the goal kicks and punts,” said Uhlenhake. “And in doing that, it allowed our forwards to run in. When we do that, we’re a hard team to beat.”
PHOTO IDENT (dodged)
There were smiles and grins all around after KCKCC’s 3-1 win over Dodge City Tuesday that advanced the Blue Devils into the semifinals of the Region VI DI playoffs in Wichita Saturday. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)
Lightning struck twice in a matter of seconds for Kansas City Kansas Community College’s unbeaten women’s soccer team Wednesday
Two goals in the span of 45 seconds earned the Blue Devils a 2-0 win over arch-rival Johnson County and the Jayhawk Conference East championship – the college’s first. “We’re going to get a banner,” said an excited Blue Devil forward Corrine Hughes.
Vaulting up to No. 6 in the latest NJCAA DI rankings, the win was the 11th in a row for the Blue Devils and put them in position to wrap up the Region VI championship with a home win over Hutchinson Saturday (2 p.m.) or at Coffeyville a week from Saturday.
Scoreless through the first half, the Blue Devils struck with a flurry. Freshman Katarina Oelschlaeger broke the 0-0 deadlock when she fought through a scramble to drive a shot just inside the right post at 36:26. Just 45 seconds later at 34:49. Maddy Broeker took a pass from Kayley Pedersen from in front of the goal and her kick got past a diving Cavalier goalkeeper for a 2-0 lead.
“We’ve been notorious for scoring in bunches,” said KCKCC Coach Shawn Uhlenhake. “We got the first goal out of a scramble and then came right back down the field with a good finish for the second one.”
The Blue Devils got an outstanding performance from freshman goalkeeper Susie Lopez, who had a couple of spectacular diving and mid-air saves in the first half and then blunted every Cavalier challenge in the second half. It was the seventh shutout of the season for Lopez and backup Mia Tomasic, who have allowed only five goals all season.
“Lopez had a great game,” said Uhlenhake. “She’s very good at making reaction saves. Anything in front of her, she’ll get. And the defense has done a good job of protecting Susie and Mia, not allowing a lot of shots by getting in the way of the ball and blocking shots. No one is getting wide open shots; everything is being challenged.”
The Blue Devil lineup has pretty much been intact this season with Jaidyn Yingling, Paige Liston, Katrina Sargent and Grace Runyon on the back line; Melissa Siegel, Kaylee Shaw and Pedersen at midfield; and Hughes, Oelschlaeger and Broeker at the forwards.
Uhlenhake said the win was “More of a relief than anything. The last two years our goal has been to win conference. Soccer is the only sport without a banner in our building. With so many games in the first week (4), I could not tell our players how important each game was but they’ve responded well. But I didn’t expect to be 11-0.”
The Blue Devils’ final two games will be against the two teams that are second in the two divisions. Hutchinson (5-3-2) trails Cowley (9-1-1) in the West while Coffeyville (7-3) is KCKCC’s closest pursuer in the East.
Kansas City Kansas Community College celebrated its climb into the Top 20 of the NJCAA’s DI women’s soccer ratings with a 6-0 blanking of Neosho County in Chanute Monday.
Ranked No. 19 in the latest poll, the win comes on the heels of a 2-1 win over No. 16 Cowley last Friday. However, another ranked foe looms next for the Blue Devils – a home collision with No. 12 Butler County Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Sophomore Corrine Hughes of Grain Valley had two goals and an assist to lead the Blue Devils while freshman Katharina Oelschlager had a goal and an assist and soph Kayley Pedersen two assists.
The Blue Devils took a 2-0 halftime lead despite going into a strong wind and then dominated the second half. Hughes got the first goal on an assist from Oelschlager early in the first half, then reciprocated with a pass to Oelschlager late in the period for the 2-0 lead.
“Scoring those two goals was big for us,” said KCKCC Coach Shawn Uhlenhake. “But everything between those goals was tough. Neosho defended well making it tough for us to score. Once we got with the wind, the ball basically never left their half of the field. We had a lot of scoring opportunities.”
Once playing with the wind, the Blue Devils widened the gap. Hughes scored on a pass from Pedersen and Melissa Siegel had an unassisted goal for a 4-0 lead. Freshman Kennia Accunia from Olathe North and sophomore Caroline Rutledge closed out the scoring, Rutledge scoring on an assist from Pedersen.
Freshman Susie Lopez of Turner got her second shutout in goal with help from another frosh, Mia Tomasic, who just joined the squad from the KCKCC volleyball team.