by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Up until this season, Kansas City Kansas Community College had never beaten Johnson County in women’s soccer. On Friday the two arch-rivals will collide for the right to advance to the semifinal round of the NJCAA Plains District playoffs.
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at KCKCC with the winner advancing to the district playoffs in Wichita next Wednesday and Thursday, Nov, 6-7.
The Blue Devils ended a streak of eight matches without a win against JCCC last year when the two teams tied in both of their meetings.
The first ever win over the Cavaliers came this season on Sept. 18, the Blue Devils winning 3-2 on the road, and then completing the regular season sweep with a 2-0 home field win Oct. 11. JCCC leads the all-time series 7-2-3.
“It’s tough to beat a team three times in a season,” KCKCC coach Shawn Uhlenhake said. “But it’s great to have the opportunity to try.”
A 3-game sweep is not without precedence. The KCKCC women’s basketball team had never beaten JCCC three times in a single season until this past season on their way to the NJCAA DII national championship.
Both teams will bring four-game winning streaks into the contest. Seeded No. 4 in the Region VI playoffs, KCKCC (13-3) advanced into the quarterfinals with a 3-1 win over defending regional champion Barton County while the No. 8 seeded Cavaliers (12-6-1) stunned No. 1 Cloud County 2-1 in Concordia.
The Blue Devils’ biggest challenge will be stopping JCCC’s two pronged offense of sophomores Kayla Brashear and Aina Blanche-Lopez. Brashear has scored 15 goals this season including seven game-winners while Blanche-Lopez has scored a dozen times.
“They have some dangerous attackers and a strong midfield,” Uhlenhake said. The Cavaliers are averaging 2.74 goals per game while allowing just 20 goals in 19 contests (1.03).
KCKCC will counter with a four-pronged attack of sophomore Kayla Deaver and freshmen Melisa Siegel, Corrine Hughes and Maddy Broeker.
Siegel has 10 goals and is fifth in the nation with 21 assists while Hughes has 13 goals, Deaver 12 and Broeker 8.
Kayley Pedersen leads the midfielder with six goals and seven assists while Jaidyn Yingling, Katrina Sargent and Karleigh Enjyart have four goals each.
The Blue Devils have scored 64 goals, an average of 4.0 per game.
“I’m not sure our girls understand how many goals they’ve scored and how well they’re playing,” Uhlenhake said. “Except for a couple of games, the defense has also played very well. It’s a fun group to have around.”
KCKCC has given up 25 goals this season, 10 of them came in two games, 5-3 and 5-2 losses to Coffeyville and Cowley.
For the season, the Blue Devils have given up an average of 1.56 goals a game but take away the two big losses and its 1.07 per game. Freshman goalkeeper Jaidyn Takaishi has five shutouts on the season.
The Blue Devils will start a lineup Friday of seven freshmen and four sophomores. Hughes, Siegel and either Broeker or Yinglilng will start at forward and all are freshmen.
The midfield will be made up of sophomores Deaver and Enyart and freshman Kayley Pedersen while sophs Sydney Guerra and Alex Schemmel and frosh Paige Liston and Katrina Sargent will make up the back line in front of Takaishi.
Sophomore Tina Alvarez and freshman Caroline Rutledge will provide the backup at midfield and the defense.