By Colin Shields / Online Editor
The Hutchinson Community College women’s soccer team wrapped up its regular season with a 13-3 record and second place finish in the Jayhawk Conference Western Division. Entering the playoffs ranked No. 19 in the country, the Blue Dragons likely have two paths to nationals, where 12 teams will compete in four groups of three, playing two games with group winners advancing to the semifinals.
The first is simple, win these next three games and, in turn, win the Region 6 title which guarantees a spot in nationals. The second scenario is a little more up in the air and would require some outside help and upsets. The Blue Dragons would need to win their first two playoff games and then play a tight match in the championship game, likely against Jayhawk Conference Western Division champion Barton, in order to be granted an at-large bid to advance to nationals.
The Blue Dragons will host the first round as they secured the No. 3 seed in the tournament and will host their first match at the Salthawk Sports Complex this Sunday against 8-9 Johnson County.
Revenge is on the Blue Dragons mind after falling to the Cavaliers 3-1 earlier this year. Freshman defender Kendra Brungardt awaits the challenge.
“I’m looking forward to a rematch with JCCC since we lost to them last time, and hope to get redemption,” Brungardt said.
The Blue Dragons will take on the Cavaliers this time with Head Coach Sammy Lane who had to miss the last match vs Johnson County due to a last-second emergency.
“Our head coach will be back to coach us this time and that will be a huge contributor because I think he motivates us more than anything,” said sophomore midfielder Emma Scholl.
Scholl is looking forward to the chance to show what the Blue Dragons are made of as they make their push towards nationals.
“I’m really looking forward to showing everybody what our team can do when the pressure is on and to have a rematch with one or more of the teams who gave us one of our few losses this season,” Scholl said.
Update: The Blue Dragons defeated Johnson County 4-3 to advance to the semifinals which will take place at Stryker Sports Complex in Wichita where they will face Butler Community College.