Archive for Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lansing ready to replace Miege on the pedestal

May 17, 2007

The moment of truth has arrived for the Lansing High girls soccer team.

The beefed-up schedule; the undefeated Kaw Valley League championship; the overtime victory over East Kansas League foe Blue Valley; the No. 5 state ranking; all of it was preparation for today's game.

Lansing (13-3) will play host to Bishop Miege at 6 p.m. today at Lansing Middle School in the Class 5-1A Northeast Region 3 championship game. The loser goes home. The winner advances to the state quarterfinals.

Miege has been to the quarters numerous times, and it won a state title in 2003. For LHS, it would be first regional title in the program's six-year history. That's a step Lions coach Rob Elkins said his squad is ready to take.

"The senior and junior class have been playing with each other for three years now, and they've been playing with each other against tough competition since we've added Blue Valley West, Blue Valley, Olathe Northwest and Shawnee Heights to our schedule, so they aren't intimidated by teams like Bishop Miege anymore," he said. "They can now say, 'Well, we've played harder teams than that, and we've competed against them.'"

In fact, the intimidation factor is one of the reasons LHS wanted to play Miege. The Lions never have beaten the Stags. Included in that history are a 10-0 loss in 2003, a 6-0 loss in 2004 and a 4-1 loss in 2005.

"Miege has always been a trial for us," senior captain and defender Abby Hauver said. "We haven't come out on top : yet : so this could be history. The girls are all really excited."

Lansing advanced to the regional finals by disposing of Immaculata, 4-0, on Tuesday at LMS. Senior Bianca Manago scored two goals in the victory, and junior Christine Cordes and freshman Allison Dillon scored the other two. Junior goalkeeper Katie Nietzke logged her 10th shutout of the season.

Miege brings a 9-7-1 record into today's game after beating Mill Valley, 2-1, in quadruple-overtime. Miege has won five of its last six games, but Manago said the Lions are not fearful of the Stags anymore.

"Bishop Miege has been put on this podium for so many years," she said. "We're finally at a level where we can definitely beat them in regionals and move on."

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