Mill Valley wins regional soccer title; Carroll scores MV’s 1,000th goal
After earning the 200th victory in program history in the regular season against Shawnee Heights, the Mill Valley soccer team had another milestone night against the Thunderbirds on Thursday night in the Class 5A Northeast regional semifinals.
Sophomore Ian Carroll's goal in the 38th minute not only helped to round out a strong first half for the Jaguars in their 8-1 win, but it was the 1,000th goal in school history.
"It's amazing. I was not expecting it at all," Carroll, who was presented with a gold soccer ball by coach Arlan Vomhof after the match, said. "I guess all the fans saw my face coming up (to accept the gold ball). I felt pretty excited."
Prior to scoring the historic goal, Carroll dished out two of his three assists. Carroll's first assist came off of a corner kick that junior Jake Ashford headed in. The Mill Valley sophomore then set up senior Brent Stevenson for a goal to put the Jaguars up, 2-0, in the 16th minute.
"He (Carroll) has been solid all year for us — not only scoring, but putting in assists and setting other people up," Vomhof said. "He's done a phenomenal job along with Jake and Brent and a couple of others that have been scoring for us. He's been great."
Ashford kept dictating the frantic pace for the Jaguars late in the first half. The Eastern Kansas League Midfielder of the Year scored in the 30th and 37th minutes to complete the hat trick. Carroll's goal a minute later gave the Jaguars a 5-0 halftime lead.
"It's awesome. It says a lot that the other coaches respected him enough to vote him into that position," said of Ashford's honor. "The EKL is a very tough league and to say everyone this season knows who he is and he's the one that gets marked up, it says a lot for him."
Carroll and Stevenson didn't waste much time in jump-starting the Jaguars in the second half. Carroll crossed it to Stevenson for a contested finish, but the senior put it in the back of the net to push the Jaguars' advantage to 6-0 in the 46th minute.
Stevenson, Carroll and several other starters got the chance to rest for a bulk of the second half, but the Jaguars kept rolling. In the 66th minute, freshman Quentin Blair fired a shot from the top of the box that Heights goalkeeper Tyler Loy was unable to handle, and it bounced past him for the Jaguars' seventh goal.
The Thunderbirds were able to break up the shutout in the 70th minute when Noah Nolan drilled a free kick from 30 yards out. The Jaguars were quick to answer, though, Eric Melendez scored two minutes later to bring the final to 8-1.
"They're playing well right now," Vomhof said. "They're doing the things that we talked about, the things that we work on in practice. It's nice to see them go out and put it all together and make things happen."
With the win, the Jaguars (14-4) advanced to quarterfinals where they will play host to St. Thomas Aquinas (12-4-2) at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Aquinas reached the quarterfinals with a 5-1 win over Topeka Seaman on Tuesday. The Saints edged the Jaguars, 2-1, in double overtime on Sept. 12.
In the other Northeast quarterfinal, Blue Valley Southwest (17-0-1) will host Olathe West at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Central/South Central quarterfinal matches will feature Maize (9-8-1) vs. Bishop Carroll (16-1-1) and Newton (12-6) vs. Kapaun Mt. Carmel (14-3-1). Both matches will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The quarterfinal champions will move on to the state semifinals on Nov. 3 at Maize High School.