BVNW defeats the reigning state champions, BVW, 4-3, in a back-and-forth game

The girls varsity soccer team defeated the Blue Valley West Jaguars, 4-3, April 26, scoring the game winning goal with 2 minutes left in overtime.


Sydney Skelton

The Huskies celebrate after senior Megan Yates’ game-tying goal in the 4-3 win over Blue Valley West, April 26.

Alyssa Gagnon, Writer

Not only does the Blue Valley West girl’s varsity soccer team have three consecutive state championship titles under their belt, they also had not lost a game all season – that was until they played the Blue Valley Northwest Huskies. 

Despite having a 3-7 losing record prior to the game and knowing that BVW had not lost a game all season, sophomore goalkeeper Nimu Karani said that the team concentrated on how they would play, rather than their opponents.

“Honestly we were just more focused on our game more than theirs. We came out like we had nothing to lose and gave our all, and I think our energy was the deciding factor,” Karani said. 

The BVW Jaguars scored the first goal of the game, but 20 minutes later, the Huskies responded with a goal from junior Abby Allen scoring from distance, making the score 1-1. The score would stay tied until halftime. 

According to head coach Michelle Pothoven, the team has not been able to create many scoring opportunities in the past, so in order to fix this, the team switched to a three-back instead of a four-back for the past couple of games.

“We’ve been struggling to generate offense and get shots off so we wanted to try to front load our offense to help with our combination play and help us high press back lines,” Pothoven said.  

Sophomore Chloe Dillbeck plays the center position of the 3-back, and said that the position comes with many responsibilities, so she has to be ready for anything. 

“I just try to stay alert the entire game. Fitness plays a huge role in having to cover my outside backs. I have to watch any through runs before they are made, mainly just reading the field trying to predict the other team’s next move,” Dillbeck said. 

This defense proved effective at the start of the first half, holding the Jaguars to only one goal. With 38:47 remaining in the second half, the Huskies took the lead, with sophomore Izzy DeBuyl scoring off of a freekick.

BVNW stayed in the lead for 20 more minutes, but then with 18:41 left, the Jaguars tied the game up. Then, only 3 minutes later, BVW scored off of a penalty kick, taking the lead. 

The Huskies were not done yet though. With 9 seconds left in regulation, senior Megan Yates scored off of a corner kick, making the score 3-3. 

“I never go up for corners since I am the holding defender in that situation, but I knew that we needed all the numbers in the box to give us the best chance of finishing a shot,” Yates said. “I always get on the girls in practice when they don’t run back post so that’s exactly what I did . After I scored I was so excited because I knew we worked hard all throughout the game and deserved a chance to win.”

After the referee signaled the end of regulation, the score was tied which meant the two teams would go into overtime and whichever team scored first would win the game.

With 2:16 remaining in the second half of overtime, DeBuyl was fouled inside the penalty box by West’s goalkeeper who was given a red card. Dillbeck was called up to take the kick. 

“I had no clue I was going to take the PK but I was very happy Pothoven chose me to take it. To be honest, I didn’t feel any nerves before taking the PK. I was just focusing on making sure I made the PK,” Dillbeck said. “After I took it, it was one of the most exciting things that has happened this entire season.”

After Dillbeck scored, the game ended with the Huskies defeating the Jaguars, 4-3.

Dillbeck believes that after this win, she can see the team making it far in state, as long as they continue to improve. 

“After the win yesterday, I think we have a great shot in winning state but I think it is very important for us to stay consistent and only get better from here,” Dillbeck said.

Karani agrees with Dillbeck, and said that she can see the team winning state this year. 

“Honestly if we continue improving our game by playing as a unit and maintain our “nothing to lose” energy throughout each game, I don’t see why we can’t win state,” Karani said.