Blogging Frankly / Sports

Blogging Frankly: Will the Wichita area ever challenge KC in girls soccer?

There are some things that I just don’t understand. Like, why can’t my wife make a worthwhile grilled cheese sandwich? I mean, Jennifer is pretty much the best chef in Kansas . Jennifer could make a deep-fried plutonium casserole and cover it with Pennzoil, and it still would be tasty. But when it comes to grilled cheese, Jennifer can’t make one unless the bread is blacker than the night sky and crunchier than a Doritos Locos Taco.

I also don’t understand why girls soccer in Kansas west of Topeka cannot compete with northeast Kansas .

Numbers, you say. Depth, you add. Both are valid arguments. But it’s not a problem in boys soccer. In 2011, Wichita Northwest (6A) and Liberal (5A) won boys soccer state championships. Wichita Trinity (4-3-2-1A) won a title in 2010. Heck, even little old Independence (4-3-2-1A) won a state championship in 2007.

History, you say. Girls soccer hasn’t been around as long as boys soccer, and the rest of the state is still struggling to catch up. Another argument that has some merit. But Wichita North won the all-class boys state championship in 1989, and Goddard (5-4-3-2-1A) won two years later.

Kapaun Mount Carmel, McPherson and Andover have also won state championships in boys soccer. Schools like Hutchinson and Hays have reached state finals.

Yet, in girls soccer, it’s all Kansas City or Topeka . Last year, Maize entered the 6A state tournament with a glossy 19-0 record. Maize was dominant throughout the season. Surely, that was going to be the year someone outside northeast Kansas would win a girls soccer state title.

Blue Valley West 7, Maize 0.

The other semifinal was just as bad, as Olathe East blasted Wichita Northwest 8-1.

Schools west of Topeka were 1-11 in girls soccer state semifinals the last two seasons. The only exception was last year when Wichita Trinity beat St. James Academy in a penalty-kick shootout in the 4-3-2-1A semifinals.

There have been other exceptions, such as Maize falling in the 2008 6A final 3-2 to Olathe East, and Kapaun Mount Carmel losing the 5-4-3-2-1A final to St. Thomas Aquinas 2-1. But more often than not, the girls state soccer championship games feature teams from the Kansas City area or Topeka , while the consolation matches are generally Wichita-area teams.

It’s also not as if cities like Wichita aren’t producing talent. The Clifton twins from Andover played at the University of Kansas . Goddard’s Whitney Berry was drafted this year by the new FC Kansas City pro soccer team. Hutchinson Community College and Butler Community College dominate the Jayhawk Conference with several Wichita-area players and other Kansans.

Currently, the talent pool looks good in and around the area. Hutchinson sophomore Jordan Downing is one of the premier players in the state. Goddard-Eisenhower has plenty of young talent. Maize, once again, looks solid.

But when will the teams around start catching up with Kansas City and Topeka? When will someone from Wichita, Salina, Reno County or other area win a girls state soccer championship? Why hasn’t it happened yet?

-Brad Hallier, Blogging Frankly

Check out more of Brad’s work here.

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