By Hutchinson CC Sports Information
HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The No. 19-ranked Hutchinson Community College Women’s Soccer team scored the most goals ever in a matchup against Johnson County and needed every one of them to advance in the Region VI Tournament.
Sophomore Aimee Maher scored two goals, sophomore Ella-Mae Miller had two assists and sophomore Hadlie Lowe tied a Blue Dragon career record with her 14th career game-winning goal as Hutchinson defeated Johnson County 4-3 in the opening round of the Region VI Tournament on Sunday at the Salthawk Sports Complex.
The Blue Dragons (14-3) advance to the Region VI Tournament semifinals at 4 p.m. on Thursday at the Stryker Soccer Complex in Wichita. Hutchinson will face No. 5 Butler, a 5-1 quarterfinal winner over Dodge City on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
The Blue Dragons snapped a two-game postseason losing streak and a seven-game losing streak to Johnson County. Hutchinson’s last win over the Cavaliers came in 2014 and last postseason victory over Johnson County was in 2011.
The four goals scored tied a 2011 game for most goals scored against Johnson County. The seven combined goals scored were most in the Hutchinson-Johnson County series history. Sunday was also the 16th one-goal game in the series’ 24 all-time games played.
The Blue Dragons led 2-0 at halftime on goals by Maher. She scored her seventh goal of the season – a career high for Maher – just 2:31 into the game when she took a Miller cross and scored in the lower left corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead.
After Lowe was taken down in the penalty box, Maher made it 2-0 with 24:21 to play in the half with her fifth career penalty kick.
The fireworks then began in the second half.
Just 1:24 into the half, Johnson County’s Alandra Bailey scored to cut the Hutchinson lead to 2-1.
The Blue Dragons regained a two-goal lead when sophomore Emma Scholl sliced a crossing pass into the goal for her third goal of the season. Miller was credited with her second assist of the game. Only 37 seconds later, Johnson County pulled within 3-2 on a Riley Porter goal with 21:30 to play in the second half.
The Dragons scored huge insurance goal with 3:44 remaining in the game when Lowe took a long pass from Jayda Wyatt and beat the Cavalier goalkeeper on a breakaway to give the Dragons a 4-2 lead.
The Cavaliers made one more run at the Dragons. Megan Everhart headed in a corner kick with 24 seconds remaining to cut the Dragon lead to 4-3.
The Blue Dragons were out-shot 25-16. Sophomore goalkeeper Olivia Felix-Cardona (5-2) had a season-high seven saves.
Lowe’s goal became her sixth game-winner of the season and tied Melissa Hetherington for the career record with her 14th career game-winning goal. She also became the 13th Blue Dragon to score 20 goals in a season.
Lowe also tied Jenny Yukich and Danielle Sheehy for sixth place on the Blue Dragon career goals list with 38. Now with 86 career points, Lowe moved past Pearl Slattery into 10th place on the career points list.
GAME NOTES – The 14 wins this season are the most since the 2016 season. … The Blue Dragons are now 24-17 overall in postseason play, 23-14 in the Region VI Tournament, 14-4 in the quarterfinals and 10-2 in home quarterfinal games. … The Dragons are now 8-15-1 all-time against Johnson County, including 3-6 in Region VI games.