Quality victory for Tonganoxie High soccer
It was a red-clad celebration at midfield Thursday at the Maur Hill soccer field.
Tonganoxie had just defeated Maur Hill, 1-0, for a regional championship and parents and players were snapping photo after photo with the team trophy. At one point, coach Brian Kroll did a happy dance of sorts.
His team had just clinched its first regional title since 2014 and life was good.
Maur Hill, which won the teams’ lone regular-season meeting, played Tonganoxie to a scoreless first half.
THS senior Logan Williams scored just minutes into the second half, giving THS a 1-0 lead. He also scored the decisive goal against KC Christian in that regional final two years ago.
And like that match, Tonganoxie wouldn’t be denied Thursday, this time in Atchison.
“Under no circumstance were we going to give them a good look,” Kroll said.
Maur Hill had some near misses, but the THS defense held its ground, sometimes with a slew of Chieftains working to quickly get the ball out of the box.
And then there were the saves from goalie Wyatt Martin.
Again, Maur Hill had its chances, but Martin saved some of those shots and kept the opponent scoreless.
“He proved himself very worthy over the summer,” Kroll said of Martin as goalie, referring to offseason competition and camps.
Kroll said his team had a tendency at times previously in the season to get antsy when it had the lead and drift from the team’s game plan.
That wasn’t the case against Maur Hill this time. He called his team very “disciplined” and “composed” in the victory.
He said both teams played a heck of a soccer match. Players also were complimentary, as a Maur Hill player told Williams after the game “you guys have a great team.”
Tonganoxie, seeded No. 4 in the region, improved to 12-6 on the season, while Maur Hill, the No. 3 seed, ended its season at 12-5-1.
With the victory, Tonganoxie was one of eight teams still vying for a state title in Class 4-1A.
THS again was the No. 4 seed in the northeast quarterfinals. Top-seeded Basehor-Linwood (17-1) faced THS in one match Tuesday after The Mirror’s deadline. No. 2 Bishop Miege (15-2-1) and No. 3 Spring Hill (14-2-2) played in the other northeast quarterfinal in Roeland Park. Both matches took place after The Mirror’s print deadline Tuesday.
For more from Tonganoxie’s playoff run, follow The Mirror on Twitter, @tonganoxie, or look for its Facebook page for updates an in next week’s print edition. of The M