by Brian Turrel
The Wyandotte Lady Bulldogs season came to a disappointing end on Thursday evening with an 8 – 0 loss at home to St. Thomas Aquinas in the 5A regional final.
Aquinas used quick lateral passes to move smoothly down the field, and many times their forwards were able to turn the corner near the Wyandotte end line for crosses into the box. The Saints didn’t finish as many of those crosses as they should have, but more than enough to put up an imposing score.
Aquinas coach Craig Ewing took advantage of his deeper bench, substituting entire shifts of players midway through each half to keep fresh legs on the field.
Despite the eight goals allowed, Bulldogs goalkeeper Reyna Espino played an inspired game. Under pressure the entire 80 minutes, she made several remarkable saves, leaping to tip the ball over the bar and diving to the side to gather in an Aquinas liner.
Espino played even more aggressively in the second half, coming way off her line to intercept Aquinas attackers. Although it caused the Saints to rush and miss some shots, her risky approach failed her three times when Aquinas put the ball into an empty net off a tip or rebound.
Senior midfielder Cheyanne Woltkamp played with abandon in her last game at Wyandotte. She hounded Aquinas ball handlers relentlessly at both ends of the field and disrupted attacking runs with physical tackles.
The Wyandotte Lady Bulldogs had their best season ever, romping through the Kansas City – Atchison League and compiling a 12-3 regular season record. Wyandotte beat Schlagle on Tuesday evening to get to the final game.
Aquinas, ranked the sixth best team in Kansas by MaxPreps, moves on to the state quarterfinals and will play Blue Valley Southwest on May 22.