KC kicks Cats’ goal to win state
Kansas City Christian's soccer team stopped any hopes De Soto had of rallying from a 1-0 halftime deficit when Cameron Kline and Tarnu Mulbah each scored a goal in the first 10 minutes of the second period.
Once the Panthers tallied their third goal of the game, De Soto coach Mike Murphy knew it was going to be difficult to rally.
"After the second goal we started pressing," he said. "Once they put the third one in we pretty much knew that was it. We just started playing kick ball. We were getting tired and weren't transitioning. When the ball was being kicked up field we weren't supporting it."
KC Christian added another goal late in the second half when Chris Mason scored a goal on a controversial offsides call, taking the final score to 4-0.
The Wildcats struggled to get anything going in the first half. Murphy said the longer a team went without scoring a goal, the harder it was to score.
"It really drains you the longer you go without scoring," the coach said. "Scoring a goal gives a team a boost and the extra energy it needs to put more balls in. When you miss it wears on you and takes your confidence away."
The Wildcats had little to build on offensively in the first half. KC Christian out-shot De Soto 4-1 in the first 40 minutes.
The Wildcat took a 13-5 record into the game and had hopes of continuing their late-season heroics by qualifying for the 4A state tournament in McPherson this weekend. But it was KC Christian, which beat the Wildcats 4-1 in the regular season that qualified for the semifinals. The win secured KC Christian's fourth-straight trip to state quarterfinals.
"They are a very balanced team," Murphy said. "They always have good defense. Any good coach will build around defense first and then find their offensive players.
"This was obviously a very good team. I believe in giving credit where credit is due. You have to pressure a defense in order to make the defense make mistakes."
One difference from last year's Wildcat team, that ended the 2003 campaign as the 4A state runner-up, was the 2003 defense's ability to provide some good offensive potential.
"Last year we did a better job of distributing better passes," Murphy said. "This year we had to do quite a bit more clearing or kicking out of bounds to get set up."
The Wildcats took their place in the Christian game by pulling out a 2-1 overtime win versus Louisburg last Thursday. The Louisburg Wildcats defeated De Soto 4-2 and 2-1 during regular season play.
Senior Jordan Hevel led the way for De Soto by scoring both goals. His game winner in the extra frame came with just more than six minutes left in overtime. He cramped up on the sidelines just before remaking his winning shot.
Hevel moved from his right to the left, turned toward the goal, and put it in.
"I knew I had the space to get the score in," Hevel said. "But I wasn't the only guy out there on our team. Just because I made the shot doesn't mean I won the game single-handedly."
Second-seeded De Soto ended the season with a 13-6 record, while third-seeded Kansas City Christian will take a 12-6 mark into their semifinal game Friday.