The Andover Central soccer team’s historic run came to an end Thursday night as the Jaguars fell to Kapaun in the 5A regional championship game by a score of 6-2.
Kapaun dominated the possession battle in the first five minutes of the match, controlling the ball and putting pressure on the Jaguar defense. It didn’t take long for the Crusaders to net their first goal of the night as Jack Barrier cut past a defender and placed the ball into the side net from near the top right corner of the penalty area. Five minutes later, the ball deflected off of a Central defender and into the back of the net to give Kapaun a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the match.
With 8:26 remaining in the half, Barrier scored his second goal to give Kapaun a 3-0 lead.
In the second half, Kapaun added three more goals, while Central was finally able to get on the board thanks to goals from Jayden Vossen and Leyton Harper.
The Jaguars fell just one game shy of a regional championship, something they have been able to accomplish in the last two seasons. Andover Central moved up to 5A this season after earning a third-place finish at the 4-1A state tournament in 2016 and a second-place finish in 2017.
Despite falling in the regional final, the Jaguars finish the season with a record of 14-2-1. The two losses are the fewest by any team in program history, and the Jaguars accomplished this after losing 10 seniors from last year’s team.
“The team exceeded expectations this season after losing ten seniors from the team that placed second at state last year,” explained Andover Central head coach Steven Huskey.
“The most impressive thing I witnessed this season was how the players responded to adversity. We had three come-from-behind victories, two of them on the road, and that just shows the belief and attitude the players possess. Our players worked so hard over the summer to prepare for the season, and the growth they showed gives us hope that we can follow up with another amazing season next year.”