The Chanute Blue Comets hosted their first ever playoff game on Monday, against the Topeka-Hayden Wildcats. The Wildcats took the 1-0 win on James Stahl’s clutch goal.
Both sides started the match at a quick pace. There was an obvious big fight feel emanating from everyone involved. Chanute’s star goalkeeper, Chandler Finuf made amazing save after amazing save and kept the Wildcats scoreless until the 73rd minute.
“Chandler went great tonight. The defense played well almost the entire night. The one breakdown they went back door and got us. Our back four has been kind of our rock all year, our back four and Chandler. They played well all year and they played well tonight too.” Blue Comets’ head coach, Adam Wilcox on Finuf’s play.
With the end of the season comes the loss of the seniors. Chanute’s backbone all year has been seniors, Michael Aylward, Peyton Babcock, Adrian Becannon, and Alex Krumm.
“They’re going to be hard to totally fill but, I think, I mean [Thomas] Ramsey is coming up. He’ll play a big part in the back. Grayson [Burchett] is coming on really strong. He’s hard for me to keep out of games right now. He’s coming along really, really well. Hopefully Kaleb [Becannon] will keep developing. As far as in the back I don’t know how to fill Mike [Aylward]’s shoes, it’s hard with just the athleticism, we don’t have somebody in the waiting that can be next year what Mike is this year.” Coach Wilcox on the difficulties of filling the big shoes left behind by those four guys.
This loss marks the end of the first season for this Chanute Blue Comet program. This team played their hearts out each and every night. They went 7-7-2 over the course of the regular season. Led by Finuf in goal, Krumm, Aylward, Drayton Cleaver, and Noah Crapson playing lockdown defense, and Jacob Adams, Jay Brown, and Vittorio Kwek scoring on the other side.
“I felt great. I feel like we were just doing that first interview for that first game you were asking me what I expected. This was great. We went .500 in our first year. I started 3 players that had never played soccer before and another four or five that had never played high level competitive soccer before. The growth was, it was awesome. To see Jay come from, never played soccer before.” Coach Wilcox on the team’s first season performance.