ANDOVER—Andover Central’s girls soccer team looked dead in the water down 2-0 late in the second half Tuesday against Kapaun Mt. Carmel.


That is, until Shelby Sementelli’s miraculous goal from nearly 20 yards away with 18:09 left to play breathed new life into the game.


 

ANDOVER—Andover Central’s girls soccer team looked dead in the water down 2-0 late in the second half Tuesday against Kapaun Mt. Carmel.

That is, until Shelby Sementelli’s miraculous goal from nearly 20 yards away with 18:09 left to play breathed new life into the game.

“I thought we had a chance after I scored that [goal],” Sementelli said.

In the end, Kapaun’s Taylor Kruse sealed the game for the Crusaders. She scored a goal off the crossbar with 7:29 left after collecting a loose ball from a corner kick, and Kapaun held off Central’s rally for a 3-1 victory to advance in the girls soccer Class 5-1A tournament.

Central finishes the season with a 16-3 record, the same record Kapaun now has. Kapaun advances to play Salina Central, which eliminated Wichita Trinity. 

“We worked hard, and I’ve never seen a girl’s team from Andover Central be this good,” senior captain Maddie Chapin said. “...It’s a sad loss, but Kapaun’s good. I hope they win State, and I hope we can say we lost to the State champions.”

When Central finally got on the scoreboard, the Jaguars were reinvigorated. They swarmed to clearouts. They kept pressure on the Crusaders. Kapaun outshot Central 16-7, but several of the Jaguars’ shots came late in the second half. 

Sementelli’s goal went right over Kapaun goalie Laurel Lujano’s arm reach. The Jaguars had a couple more similar shots, but to no avail.

Kapaun nearly put the game out of reach on a couple occasions, but Emma Mallets was able to run down two Kapaun breakaways. Chapin helped the defense turn the ball back on offense in a hurry.

Chapin is one of several senior Jaguars who played their last game. Central coach Stephanie Garcia expressed a lot of gratitude for the seniors, some of whom had to learn new positions and adjust to new defensive schemes this season.

“Their leadership has been undeniable,” Garcia said. “It’s just been incredible how much they’ve put into the team, the heart they’ve had.”

After the game, the senior were honored by walking through a student-made tunnel.