Kansas boys state soccer tournaments today and Saturday at three sites.
** 1 Miege comes full circle
When this season’s Bishop Miege boys soccer seniors were freshmen, the Stags reached the Kansas Class 5A title game only to lose to eventual national champion St. Thomas Aquinas. It was something that stuck with these players, who also got bounced from the postseason by the Saints as sophomores. Miege’s seniors erased that frustration Tuesday with a 2-0 win against Aquinas to reach the Class 5A state tournament, which begins today at Topeka’s Hummer Sports Park. The Stags, 16-2-1, who won state in 1998 and 2000, start the quest for their first state crown in 12 seasons at 7 p.m. against Wichita Kapaun-Mount Carmel, 14-5-0, and will rely on a stingy defense led by senior Stephen Hopper, a midfield that tends to dominate possession led by senior Aidan Kuhls and an attack led by senior Conner Emberlin.
** 2 Huskies hope to stay perfect vs. Kansas squads
Ranked first in Kansas Class 6A, the Blue Valley Northwest boys needed two overtimes — and a clutch goal from Blake Levine — to vanquish Shawnee Mission Northwest and reach the state tournament, which begins today at the College Boulevard Activity Center in Olathe. Make no mistake, though, the Huskies, 17-1-1, are the favorites to capture the second Class 6A crown in school history and first since 2006. BV Northwest, which lost to Rockhurst 2-0 and played to a draw with Chaminade from St. Louis, hopes to remain unbeaten against teams from Kansas when it opens against the defending state champion, Wichita Northwest, 14-5-0, at 5 p.m.
** 3 SM East seeks breakthrough
On the other side of the Class 6A state bracket, Sunflower League runner-up SM East, 16-3-0, meets perennial power Topeka Washburn Rural, 16-2-1, at 7 p.m. in the quest for the program’s first state title. The Lancers’ defense has peaked at the right time, posting back-to-back shutouts in the regional championship, a 2-0 win Oct. 25 against BV West, and state quarterfinal contest, a 1-0 win Tuesday against Lawrence. The Junior Blues, who won the Centennial League for the 18th consecutive year, haven’t allowed a goal in four games, presenting a challenge for SM East’s attack led by Tyler Rathbun and Bryce McClanahan.
** 4 KC Christian, Tongy go for small-class gold
Kansas City Christian remained on track for a Kansas Class 4-3-2-1A repeat Tuesday by upending Baldwin in a shootout to gain a spot in the state semifinals, which kick off today at Piper High School. The Panthers, 9-6-4, face a stern test at 5 p.m. against Topeka-Hayden, 18-1-0, whose only loss this season was a 1-0 defeat Sept. 13 to Washburn Rural. Led by senior co-captains Zack Tallent and Matt Saathoff, who had goals in Tuesday’s quarterfinal win against De Soto, and fellow captain Keaton Truesdell, Tonganoxie’s quest for its first state crown continues against McPherson, 17-2-0. The Chieftains, 15-3-1, play at 7 p.m.
** 5 Cinderella Harmon squad marches on
Buoyed by a regulation goal from Giovanni Calderon and then propelled into the semifinals when goalkeeper Javier De Lara won a shootout against Topeka-Seaman, Harmon moved within two games of a surprise Kansas Class 5A state title. The Hawks, 18-1-0, meet defending state champion Liberal, 10-8-1, at 5 p.m. with a berth in the championship on the line. Harmon will need strong contributions from first-team All-Kansas City, Kan./Atchison League field players Enrique Hernandez and Breyson Ruiz to advance.
| Tod Palmer, email@example.com
Tod Palmer, <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>