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Rural soccer caps 13-2-1 regular season with 3-0 shutout over Hayden

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Another outstanding regular season put Washburn Rural's girls soccer team in the best possible position for the upcoming Class 6A postseason.

Washburn Rural capped a 13-2-1 regular season Thursday with a 3-0 Centennial League win over Hayden on Senior Night at McElroy Field, clinching the outright league title while earning the top West seed for the playoffs.

FSm4 L WQAUGohyHayden sophomore Lauren Sandstrom (12) and Washburn Rural senior Emma Krueger (15) chase after a loose ball in Thursday's regular-season finale. Krueger scored Rural's final goal in a 3-0 win. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

FSm3syDWQAMbxE9Washburn Rural senior Belle Kennedy tries to catch up to a loose ball in Thursday's 3-0 Senior Night win over Hayden. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

Now Brian Hensyel's Junior Blues wil try to take advantage of that enviable spot, beginning with next Tuesday's regional opener.

"I'm proud of the body of work during our regular season,'' Hensyel said. "You can win league, you can get the top seed and we have an in-season tournament and we did all those things, so obviously the regular season has been phenomenal.

"But most of these girls were on the team last year when we took third and were disappointed not getting to the end so that's what we're shooting for, to play our best soccer in the next couple of weeks.''

The Junior Blues scored the onlly goal they would need at the 15:10 mark of the first half, with junior Mackinly Rohn scoring off a pass from senior Belle Kennedy.

The score remained 1-0 through halftime before Washburn Rural got second-half goals from freshman Kate Hinck at the 36:47 mark and from senior Emma Krueger with 2:58 remaining. Rohn was credited with the assist on Hinck's goal and Hinck added the assist on Krueger's final goal.

Junior Hailey Beck picked up the shutout in goal for the Junior Blues.

While extremely happy with the regular season, Hensyel also knows the Junior Blues can still step up their game  in postseason.

"One, give Hayden credit,'' Hensyel said. "I thought defensively they were pretty good and they make it tough to score so you have to earn goals. No. 2, our biggest thing that we need to work on right now is we've always been a team that takes advantage of set pieces and finds a way to score a goal or two a game and that usually separates us from people.

"We just haven't been able to generate anything on our set pieces so we've got to get back to the drawing board and go back over that stuff again.'' 

Hayden fell to 8-6-1 on the season, but Wildcat coach Klaus Kreutzer saw some positive signs from his team.

"It has been a tough stretch and actually I thought we played fairly well against a really good team,'' Kreutzer said. "In the second half, even into the wind, we created some opportunities and I though we gave a pretty good accounting of ourselves.

"They're a good team and you can't make any mistakes.'' 

Official playoff pairings will be released on Saturday.

"Now's the real season,'' Kreutzer said.

WASHBURN RURAL 3, HAYDEN 0

Hayden               0 0 -- 0

Washburn Rural 1 2 -- 3

Washburn Rural -- Goals: Rohn, Hinck, Krueger. Assists: Kennedy, Rohn, Hinck. Shutout: Beck.