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)