The season didn’t start out the way the Augusta Orioles really wanted it to. They fell to Berean Academy in their season opener and that was how it went in the early part of the season. Augusta dropped three of their first four matches en route to a 1-3 record. They were eventually 2-4 when they were able to turn things around.
They have been feeling themselves as of late.
They are 10-2 over their last 12 matches, including five clean sheets.
That is the blueprint you’re looking for. When you get on a roll like that, you’re ready to make some noise into November.
Augusta knocked off Hays-Thomas More Prep-Marian-Ellis 3-1 in the first round of the regional. Then, they dispatched of a solid Chanute team 2-1 to win their first regional title since 2006.
It is still trying to overcome what happened last season. The Orioles, once again seeded fourth, were upset by Wichita Independent 1-0. What should have been a cake walk into the at least the quarterfinals, saw their season end abruptly.
This season the Orioles have put themselves in a great position to get into the state tournament for the first time in school history.
Blocking their path is Topeka Hayden, the private school is known for their ability to kick it around the pitch. While they haven’t been to state in a few years, their consistently one of the top teams on the east side of the state.
Hayden was once 2-6 this season. Much like Augusta, the Wildcats have gone on a tear. They've won eight of their last 10. Hayden beat Wichita Classical 1-0 in double overtime. Then, they upset the No. 1 West team, Coffeyville Field Kinley 1-0.
Hayden's sophomore goalkeeper Gabe Rnkey has five shut outs on the year, including three straight. Senior Joe Gartner is another key piece for Hayden.
Don’t expect a high scoring affair. Hayden has only scored more than two goals three times all season and not since Oct. 15.
Who: #9 Topeka Hayden
Where: Hiller Stadium
When: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 5:30 p.m.
Rick Peterson contributed to this story.