ACC blows past Southeast

After gusty winds hampered things through the first half against Southeast Sunday, Allen Community College's soccer women caught fire after intermission. The Red Devils scored three goals in a 10-minute span to roll to a 5-1 win over Hesston.

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Sports

May 17, 2021 - 9:48 AM

Allen Community College's Dot Usher (12) celebrates with teammate Maci Beachler following a goal in the Red Devils' 5-1 win over Southeast Sunday. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

CHANUTE — Allen Community College’s women kept their perfect soccer record intact Sunday, controlling the action for the most part in a 5-1 victory over Southeast Community College to open the Region VI playoffs.

The win puts ACC one game away from a Region VI championship and a berth in the upcoming NJCAA-Division II Tournament

But unlike a pair of 5-0 victories previously over Southeast this season, the Red Devils had to sweat a little longer than this time before taking control.

That was in part attributable to the weather. With the game moved from Iola to Chanute because of storms that deluged the ACC soccer field earlier in the day, it meant playing on a north-south field.

And with winds out of the south approaching 20 mph or greater, it meant whoever had to defend the north goal was facing a significant headwind.

But Allen head coach Jeremy McGinnis pointed to another reason why Southeast was within 2-1 at the 70-minute mark.

“The wind was a factor for sure,” he said. “But we were playing kind of stagnant. We got those two early goals and we started thinking everything was just gonna fall.”

Even against the gusty south wind, Allen had things in control early on, missing on a couple of golden opportunities before Autumn Wyatt zipped one past the goalkeeper less than 19 minutes into the match.

Then, Wyatt struck again, poking a header past the sprawling goalkeeper with 24:51 left in the half.

“We just kind of laid off from there, especially in the midfield,” McGinnis said. “We didn’t have the energy we needed to have.”

Southeast used the wind to its advantage.

Allen goalkeeper Phoenix Michaelis stopped a shot off a Southeast breakaway, but stumbled as she did so, leaving the rebound open for a Storm player to nudge in an easy shot to make it  2-1 with 11  minutes left in the half.

The Red Devils were able to stem the tide, and went back on the attack a couple of times through the balance of the half. 

But it wasn’t until after intermission — with the wind at their back — did the Red Devils return to their dominating style of attack. Allen took turns bombarding the goal with a barrage of blasts, from short and long range. 

By all appearances, Southeast’s goalkeeper was up for the challenge.

But only for so long.

Allen’s Maci Beachler smacked in a beautiful arcing shot from the left side at the 72-minute mark to re-establish a two-goal lead.

“Maci is always good for a shot like that,” McGinnis said. “A 2-1 lead is a very tricky lead. As a soccer player, that’s a hard lead to keep. But once you get that third goal, it’s like a weight coming off your shoulders.”

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