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Boys soccer team finishes third at 6A state tournament
The boys varsity soccer team defeated Wichita North, 3-1, in the state consolation game, Nov. 6. With the win, the Huskies placed third at the KSHSAA 6A state tournament.
November 6, 2021
After a 2-1 loss against Washburn Rural in the state semifinals the night before, the Huskies faced off against Wichita North in the state consolation game, playing for the chance at third place in the state tournament. Senior Ryan Masterson said the Huskies were disappointed with their loss, but were looking to come out and take third place.
“A lot of us were disappointed, but we had the mindset that winning third place would mean a lot to us and we came out ready to play,” Masterson said.
The score was tied for most of the first half until senior Joseph Rahto scored a goal on a header off a free kick by junior Ricki Li with just over four minutes remaining in the first half. From that point on, the Huskies were in control. With 31:18 remaining in the second half, senior Andrew Mitchell found the back of the net and junior Sam McIntosh added one more with 23:47 remaining in the game to give the Huskies a 3-0 lead over Wichita North.
Having given up leads in the past two games, head coach Brian Pollack said the team made some changes to ensure it would not happen again.
“We’ve been so banged up, so we decided to change things formationally so we can rest our legs and control the lead which is something we haven’t done in the past,” Pollack said. “It turned out to be the best thing possible and we came out firing in the second half.”
Being up by three goals, Mitchell said it was also great to see some players able to get in the game who typically don’t play.
“It gave a chance for other seniors and those who typically don’t play to get in and be able to play in a state game which was awesome to see,” Mitchell said.
Wichita North scored a goal with 31 seconds remaining in the game, but it wasn’t enough as the Huskies were able to win the state consolation game, 3-1, clinching third place at the KSHSAA 6A state tournament.
Masterson it was a well-earned victory and a satisfying way to end the season.
“It’s honestly rewarding because we worked so hard throughout the season and we were never really rewarded through most of it. We came out today and were able to get what we wanted,” Masterson said.
Finishing the regular season with a 5-10-1 record and entering playoffs as the thirteen seed, Mitchell said the team surpassed his expectations by making it as far as they did in the playoffs.
“I thought we had a chance to go far coming into the playoffs, but I never expected us to get third in the state. We had confidence and we built on wins, won some big overtime games, and were able to finish it off with another good game tonight,” Mitchell said.
Ending his high school soccer career on a win was very validating, Mitchell said.
“We have a medal around our neck and a trophy to put in the trophy case. It’s exciting and especially with a losing record, people overlooked us, but we knew we had the talent to do it and we did it,” Mitchell said.
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