Girls soccer wins first state title in school history

The team defeated Shawnee Mission East 3-0 in the game Saturday, May 27 in Wichita


By Justin Crawfod

Fresh from their 3-0 6A state title win over Shawnee Mission East Saturday, May 27, the girls soccer team poses for their team photo. The win was the first state soccer title in school history.

Meg McAfee, JAG reporter/writer

With a 3-0 victory over Shawnee Mission East in the 6A state title game Saturday, May 27 at Stryker Complex, the girls soccer team avenged a previous season loss and secured their first state title in school history. 

Junior Shelby Kindt and seniors Olivia Page and Laney Reishus scored the three goals. The team finished the season with an 18-2-1 record. 

Stepping into a leadership role, Page utilized the team’s close bond to lead them to their eventual state title win.

“Throughout the season the team grew by building closer relationships and learning more about each other helped our performances on the field,” Page said. “These relationships that we built helped me and my teammates push each other to become state champs by holding each other accountable on and off the field every day.”

Along with close bonds, Reishus said the team’s dedication in practice and support of each other helped them be successful.

“We grew as a team this season by practicing every day and breaking down film in order to highlight our strengths and fine tune our weaknesses. We did some team bonding to grow closer as a team and I think it really helped us be successful,” Reishus said, “We were able to hold each other to high standards and encouraged each other every day. Everyone did a very good job in executing their role no matter how big or small it was.”

Head coach Jason Pendleton said the team was ready to face East in the state final thanks to strong defense and aggressive offense.

“I have a coaching philosophy that is focused on a culture of accountability with emphasis on hard work. The girls did a great job of coming to practice every day focused and working to improve,” Pendleton said. “When it came to game time they were great defensively and everyone bought into our game plan. Getting a shutout and dominating the game was definitely a highlight for me.”
Appreciative of all those who came out to support and celebrate their victory with them, Page said being a state champion was the perfect ending to her high school career.

“I felt ecstatic because that goal put us one step closer to grasping the title,” Page said. “At first, I was in shock and disbelief, not in our ability, just that a championship game went my way for once. Being a state champ feels amazing and I wouldn’t want to end my high school career on any other note.”  

Recognizing that both the defense and the offense had to be at their best in order to win, Reishus said both sides of the field excelled at their jobs.

“I felt we executed well defensively in the game. We really shut down their front line and limited chances. We also capitalized on our opportunities in the second half and we were able to put the ball in the back of the net,” Reishus said. “When I scored one of the goals I felt so much excitement and just relief to finally be up a goal. I was thankful to be able to score for the team and celebrate with them.”

Pendleton will be remembered for coaching both the boys and the girls teams to state titles in the same year, but he will remember how the girls team had its own identity and formed relationships in order to become state champions.

“I am very excited for the kids involved. Each championship is unique to the players involved with how they play and their mentalities. The relationships that they built with each other ended up being very important in the end as they were able to push each other to be their best,” Pendleton. “I had a great and fun season being able to coach a great group of young ladies who also happened to be pretty good at soccer.”


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