KMC Crusade

Soccer team left homeless

Located+at+K-96+and+Greenwich%2C+the+new+Stryker+Complex+will+feature+a+main+turf+field%2C+expanded+seating%2C+and+an+indoor+field+facility.+The+complex+is+projected+to+be+finished+for+the+girls+season.
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Soccer team left homeless

Located at K-96 and Greenwich, the new Stryker Complex will feature a main turf field, expanded seating, and an indoor field facility. The complex is projected to be finished for the girls season.

Located at K-96 and Greenwich, the new Stryker Complex will feature a main turf field, expanded seating, and an indoor field facility. The complex is projected to be finished for the girls season.

City of Wichita

Located at K-96 and Greenwich, the new Stryker Complex will feature a main turf field, expanded seating, and an indoor field facility. The complex is projected to be finished for the girls season.

City of Wichita

City of Wichita

Located at K-96 and Greenwich, the new Stryker Complex will feature a main turf field, expanded seating, and an indoor field facility. The complex is projected to be finished for the girls season.

Kaegan Cowan, Web Editor

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Not having a home field on campus is nothing new to many Kapaun Mt. Carmel athletic teams, and the boys soccer team was one of these teams for many years, playing at the Stryker Soccer Complex at K-96 and Greenwich. But, in 2017, the city of Wichita announced it was closing Stryker to make major additions to the complex.

The boys soccer team was not affected last year, but this year they are being forced to play at South’s field for home games as construction continues at Stryker. Coach Anthony Cantele said he thought the effect would be pretty minimal.

“It is one of those mental barriers that we’ll have to get past,” Cantele said. “But, we only had four scheduled home games anyway, so at the end of the day, what I have to make sure the kids understand is that everybody has to play the game wherever it is. It’s the same team. Maybe there’s an advantage with a home field, but that’s not possible for us. That’s out of our control.”

Perhaps the most interesting detail of the home-field situation is that KMC will actually face South in a “home” game for the Crusaders’ own Senior Night Oct. 4. Senior defender Christian Lopez described his thoughts about the situation.

“It definitely won’t be the same as doing Senior Nights at Stryker,” Lopez said. “It won’t truly feel like a home game, but I hope we get the same amount of support from fans as we do for Senior Nights at Stryker.”

This is not the first time in recent memory that the boys soccer team had to play Senior Night at South instead of Stryker, though. In the 2016 season, Stryker’s grass was flooded on the scheduled day of the Senior Night game. KMC’s opponent, which coincidentally was South, offered its home field as a replacement, and KMC accepted.

No matter on what field the Crusaders play, they have some difficult upcoming opponents. Bishop Carroll and Blue Valley Southwest are the two best teams KMC will face, according to sophomore Ben Bombardier.

“Blue Valley Southwest and Bishop Carroll are definitely going to be our hardest opponents because they move the ball around really well, which creates a lot of goal-scoring opportunities that can really prove to be difficult for us,” Bombardier said. “To make a run at state, we just have to put in all our effort and make sure things get done in practice.”

Blue Valley Southwest went undefeated and won the 5A state championship last season, but Cantele said his team has the necessary components to defeat them.

“Blue Valley Southwest finished last season ranked third in the country,” Cantele said. “They didn’t lose a single starter, so that’s going to be tough when we go up there and play them in a couple of weeks. I think we’re ahead of where we were last year, and last year we finished third in state. We gave Blue Valley a good run for their money [in the semifinal game], so if we stay motivated—even when we lose, we start focusing on the next one and not worrying about the past—if we have that mentality, we definitely have the talent to have a good chance to win the tournament.”

The Crusaders were defeated by Blue Valley Southwest 2-1 in Kansas City Sept. 22. Blue Valley Southwest is ranked 21st in the nation by the USA Today/United Soccer Coaches Poll as of Sept. 18. The state tournament is Nov. 2-3 in Topeka, where the two teams may face off again.

John Biehler
Fighting for the ball, junior Patrick Dehner battles a Bishop Carroll defender at South during the semifinals of the Titan Classic Sept. 6. The Crusaders lost 1-0. South’s field is serving as the team’s home this season.

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