Kapaun beats Derby 3-2 for Titan Classic championship
Facing a self-inflicted 1-0 deficit for 39 minutes of the Titan Classic blue bracket championship boys soccer game Saturday did not exactly sit well with Kapaun.
Kapaun sweeper Daniel Kelly attempted to clear a ball with his head in the first half, which redirected the ball and caused goalkeeper Elliott Fulghum to misread as the ball bounced in for an own goal in favor of Derby.
But Kapaun’s persistence helped the Crusaders fight back for a 3-2 win.
“I heard my keeper right as I jumped, so I knew there was nothing I could do to take it back. I felt so down. I let my team down right in the beginning,” Kelly said. “But we came back. I can always count on them.”
Kapaun tied the score in the second half when forward Rhys Allen broke through Derby’s defense and drew a foul within the penalty area for a penalty kick that he put in with ease.
“I hadn’t really gotten any chances in the game until I finally got a run through and beat the defense, so once I got past and got the PK out of it I was really happy with it,” Allen said. “It’s really frustrating not getting chances when you play up top.”
With 11:51 remaining, Kapaun’s Grant Wells found Allen for another goal, and a 2-1 lead. Only 48 seconds later, Derby’s Alan Flores broke away for a long shot from the left side of the goal, finding the net on the far post. But 1:47 later, Allen broke down Derby’s defense to take a shot that was tipped by goalkeeper Edgar Vaquera to Kapaun’s Mitchell Sheets, who tapped in the goal.
“They don’t quit. This group just does not quit,” Kapaun coach Alan Shepherd said. “They have a great attitude about the game, and their commitment is there to work hard for 80 minutes, or however long the game is, and that’s all there.”
Kapaun reached the blue bracket championship game the past two years, but fell both times to Northwest.
“It feels very good. Some people say it’s an accomplishment just to get to the final, and it is, but to win it is even better,” Shepherd said.
South fought off a persistent West to win 3-0 in the white bracket championship game.
“I think it could have been three or four to nothing within the first five minutes, we just didn’t capitalize,” South coach Johnny Martin said. “Then they settled down and we kind of ran out of gas a little bit. In the second half they took it to us.”
Dodge City’s Mario Lopez broke through to defeat Hutchinson 1-0 in an evenly matched red bracket championship game.
“We ended up changing the formation back to what we were playing with in the first half, and we started seeing results,” Dodge City coach Charles Johnson said. “We possessed the ball better, and we just happened to get Mario Lopez on the left side, and he broke through.”
Kapaun 3, Derby 2
First half—Derby, own goal. Second half—Kapaun, Allen (penalty kick), Allen (G. Wells), Sheets (Allen); Derby, Flores (unassisted).
Shots—Kapaun, 1-7—8; Derby, 3-4—7. Saves—Kapaun, Fulghum 2-3—5; Derby, Vaquera 1-4—5.
Dodge 1, Hutchinson 0
Second half—Dodge City, M. Lopez (unassisted).
Shots—Hutchinson, 5-6—11; Dodge City, 5-8—13. Saves—Hutchinson, Davis 4-6—10; Dodge City, Landa 4-5—9.
South 3, West 0
First half—South, Juregui (Gale), D. Garcia (unassisted). Second half—South, G. Garcia (unassisted).
Shots—West, 2-3—5; South, 5-6—11. Saves—West, Rosas 3-5—8; South, 2-3—5.