Girls soccer loses to Aquinas in State quarterfinals

Jordan McEntee, Sports Editor

The girls soccer team fell to the Saints of St. Thomas Aquinas in the State Quarterfinal game Tuesday night, with a score of 2-1.
Aquinas senior Sarah Heilman scored the first goal about 2 minutes into the match off a pass from sophomore Hannah Pyle. Blue Valley tied it up with a goal by sophomore Ashlen Cyr with 28 minutes left in the second half.
Heilman dribbled in and scored a second goal with 8 minutes remaining to clench the win for the Saints.
Despite the loss, varsity player junior Sara Specht said the team thought they played much better than their meeting with Aquinas earlier in the season.
“The game actually went really well,” Specht said. “We controlled most of the game, and I really thought we had it. It was just an unfortunate outcome in the last few minutes. I thought we would at least go into overtime.”
Specht said the team took the loss pretty hard Tuesday night.
“The emotions were really intense,” she said. “We were all upset, crushed, defeated. After the game, everyone was in tears. But everyone knew they tried their best, and it was just unfortunate after all of our hard work.”
Specht said next year’s team will miss the five seniors — Presley Chrisco, Katelyn Gardner, Annie Humphrey, Sarah Todd and Brittany Zimmerman.
“The seniors did an amazing job, and they didn’t deserve that outcome,” Specht said. “We’re really proud of them — they played their best and didn’t deserve that.”
The team is now trying to look ahead and focus on next season next season, Specht said. But she said she will never be able to forget Tuesday’s game.
“I’m still in the moment, so it’s kind of hard to think about next year and move on,” she said. “I feel like we really deserved it. Walking through the gates after the game, seeing all the State posters made us think, ‘Man, this sucks.’”
Specht said she appreciated everyone coming out for the game and supporting the team for the big playoff game.
“I loved all the fan support for the game,” she said. “It was such a cool feeling to see all those people up there wearing black. It’s like we had something to show — I think it actually made me play harder. It almost felt like a football game.”