Winning week sets Cat soccer team up for post season
Winning three games in a six-day time span has done wonders for De Soto's post-season opportunities.
Now all the Wildcats have to do is steal a win Thursday from the state's No. 2 ranked team, Maranatha Academy, to secure the top seed going into post-season soccer action.
If the Wildcats can knock the Eagles off, both teams will sport a 4A best 13-3 record. De Soto would get the nod as top seed because of its win in head-to-head competition.
All of this wouldn't be possible, however, had the Wildcats not won their past three games.
De Soto started the run with a 1-0 win over Tonganoxie Thursday on Jordan Hevel's penalty kick goal about midway through the second half. Hevel was awarded the kick when leading scorer Jesse Smith drew the defense to him by going around Tonganoxie's stopper and forcing a 1-on-1 situation with the Chieftain sweeper. The sweeper and another defender collapsed on Smith and took him down, forcing the game winning kick.
The Wildcats caught a break when a Chieftain player caught De Soto sleeping and broke free on a break away goal attempt. Miraculously, Tonganoxie failed to convert on the play. Goalkeeper Sean Karashin saved the day when he deflected a shot of the post and a defender knocked the ball away.
On Monday, the Wildcats improved to 11-3 with a 6-4 win over Basehor-Linwood.
Josh Arnold led the way for De Soto with a pair of goals. Hevel, Smith, Graham Power and Hector Carlos, who scored his first goal at the varsity level all added one goal apiece in the win.
While the offense was cranking it up, the Wildcat defense was getting shredded.
"They were just out there having fun," De Soto coach Mike Murphy said. "We were so focused on offense that we forgot to play defense."
It also didn't help that Karashin was forced out of part of the game after getting kicked in the left arm.
Austin Kuipp led the way offensively for Basehor-Linwood by scoring three of the four Chieftain goals.
"They had a guy in a zone," Murphy said. "He has pretty good speed, and our guys have had a hard time with forwards that are quick this season. We just didn't do a good job of marking him up."
De Soto also concluded its match Tuesday with Eudora after rain and lightning postponed it from a week earlier with the Wildcats holding a 6-0 advantage with eight minutes remaining in the first half.
The win set up De Soto's trip to Maranatha. The Eagle attack features two of the more prolific scorers in all of 4A, including John Lemon, the classes top scorer.