Tonganoxie High alumni square off in collegiate soccer match
A postseason college soccer match featured two Tonganoxie High alumni playing against each other earlier this month.
Matthew Perich, a freshman defender for Kansas Christian College, went up against Isaiah Frese, a freshman forward at Manhattan Christian College.
KCC won the match, 4-2, in a National Christian College Athletics Association Southwest Regional semifinal Nov. 8 in Joplin, Mo.
Perich’s Falcons also won a previous meeting, 3-1, Sept. 24 in Manhattan.
KCC, though, fell, 3-1, to Randall University in the regional championship. That ended KCC’s season at 6-9, though the Falcons have won six straight matches in the last three seasons against Manhattan.
Despite the regional loss, the Thunder still advanced to the NCCAA Division II National Tournament with an at-large berth.
MCC entered the tournament with a 13-6 record. The team went 5-0 in Midwest Christian College Conference play and then won the MCCC Tournament with a 5-0 championship match victory against Faith Baptist Bible College on Nov. 2 in Dubuque, Iowa.
The Thunder opened nationals with a 3-1 loss in pool play to No. 2 Providence University on Wednesday, Nov. 20, in Kissimmee, Fla.
Frese scored Manhattan’s lone goal exactly 11 minutes into the match. MCC had the lead heading into the second half, but Providence scored three unanswered goals in the 56th, 62nd and 73rd minutes for the Pilots.
MCC then played Grace Christian University on Thursday in pool play. GBU jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals in the 32nd and 44th minutes. Manhattan answered with a penalty kick goal about 15 minutes into the second half, but the Tigers scored three more times in the second half for a 5-1 victory.
Providence, which is in Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, went on to win the championship with a 1-0 overtime victory Saturday against No. 4 Pensacola Christian College.
Manhattan finished the season 13-8. It marked MCC’s 18th national tournament appearance and first since 2016. That year’s squad was the last of 14 conesecutive Thunder teams to qualify for the national tournament. The program has three national titles to its credit.
Entering the conference championship, Frese had played in 11 matches, 10 of which were starts.
He also had eight goals and one assist in those matches.
Frese is a 2018 THS graduate; Perich graduated in 2019 from THS and also is listed as an outfielder on the KCC baseball roster.