Bobcats advance to regional soccer final, set up rematch with Tonganoxie
KANSAS CITY, KAN. — Basehor-Linwood’s regional matchup against Sumner Academy Tuesday night was a typical first-round slop fest.
The nerves hadn’t quite settled and the game wasn’t as polished as both teams are accustomed. Basehor-Linwood coach Austin Knipp told his team during a scoreless halftime that the first team to score would win.
Sure enough, the Bobcats snuck in a goal at the 18:34 mark in the second half, the difference in a 1-0 victory at Washington High School.
The goal, which looked like a matter of happenstance on the part of Zach Ferguson, was one of the few shots the Bobcats actually got off. The Sabres had been the aggressors all night, getting far more shot opportunities over the course of the game.
“We came in expecting that,” Knipp said. “I came in preaching to them last week that whoever we play, they’re going to come out hard. The game’s going to be close and don’t expect to blow anybody out.”
It reminded him of a game he played in as a student at Basehor-Linwood, first round against No. 3 seed Maranatha. Though Maranatha had won the state championship the year before, the No. 10 seeded Bobcats fought as hard as they could, though the Eagles ended up winning.
In this game, the Bobcats were the No. 8 seed and the Sabres were the No. 5 seed, so it was an even match from the onset. But was one of those ugly games that teams have to win to get to state.
Knipp has talked about his team’s tenacity all season and it had to endure some rough patches Tuesday night.
“Out of the three years I’ve been here, we’ve had teams that don’t stop until the final whistle,” he said. “It’s carried onto this team.”
Basehor-Linwood (8-8-1) will play Tonganoxie (13-3-1) at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the regional final, a rematch of the Chieftains' 2-1 victory earlier this season.