Districts: Win or go Home

Varsity Soccer teams compete in Districts


Nathan Thomas

Junior Sierra Schmidt looks to chip the keeper during Millard West’s 16-0 win over Omaha Benson.

Nathan Thomas, Executive Striv Producer

Over the week of April 29th, both the boy’s and girl’s varsity soccer teams competed in Districts, with automatic berths to the State Tournament on the line.

Girl’s semifinal vs Benson

The 13-1 Wildcats would host their way through the four team District tournament, with their first match coming up against 1-12 Benson Bunnies.

Junior Reagan Raabe put Millard West on the board just 15 seconds into the match with a solo goal of her own.

The Wildcats never looked back as they would score another 15 goals before the half time whistle to mark the end of the game. The final score was 16-0.

Junior Taylor Phillips scored four goals for herself, with senior Chaise Pfanstiel adding a hat trick as well. Raabe and fellow junior Katie Stoneburner both had two goals a piece.

Boy’s semifinal vs Elkhorn South

A cold and windy night as the boy’s travelled out to Kearney for a matchup against Elkhorn South in a win or go home game. The Wildcats seemed to dominate the first half of the game, as they created lots of scoring chances, but could not find a breakthrough. They took the game into a 0-0 tie at the half.

Coming out of the break, the boy’s seemed to come back with the same energy, and finally found their goal.

Junior Nathan Bauermeister put the ball pat the Elkhorn South keeper to give the Wildcats the lead, and give them the front foot to the district final against Kearney.

That all seemed to change when Storm senior Neel Sharma scored from the edge of the box to tie the game up with 10 minutes left.

Millard West surged back to the front foot to try and grab a late goal, but it seemed like it was too little too late to win the game in regulation.

Bauermeister burst forward on a run with just under a minute left, and was found by sophomore Caden Tubaugh on a lobbed through pass, but Bauermeister was unable to put the ball past the Elkhorn South keeper.

But the game is never over until the final whistle blows. Bauermeister had one last opportunity as he made one last forward run with five seconds left. He received another great ball from Tubaugh, took one touch, and steered one on target for the winning goal with under one second remaining to give Millard West the win, and a chance to travel to State.

Girl’s final vs Lincoln Pius X

In what looked like a tough District final, the Wildcats pushed hard at the start and never looked back.

After missing some early chances, senior Jaiden Beecher gave the one loss Wildcats a lead around six minutes into the game.

The team smoothly sailed their way through the Thunderbolts, as continued to add to a strong lead of 3-0 at halftime.

During the second half, Millard West added on four more goals, finished their job defensively to earn a hard fought win.

The game finished 7-0, with seven different goal scorers. The girl’s will travel to Morrison Stadium as the one seed in the State tournament.

Nathan Thomas
The in over Lincoln Pius X gave the girl’s soccer team their 14th consecutive district title.

Boy’s final vs Kearney

A daunting task laid ahead for the Wildcats, as they travelled out to face the undefeated Bearcats of Kearney High.

In a game that seemed to be very open for both teams to grab an early goal, Kearney senior Elliott Lebsack scored around 10 minutes before getting injured in the sequence.

Just a few minutes later, the Bearcats opened up a chance again, before senior keeper Samuel Fedde came and cleaned out the attacker. The referee immediately pointed the penalty spot, and showed Fedde a straight card. An ejection for him and the Wildcats now playing down a man the rest of the game. Senior Royce Austen would score the penalty kick to give the undefeated team a 2-0 lead.

With under 15 minutes left in the first half, senior Braedan Evans pulled one back, to give Millard West some renewed life with their season on the line.

The one goal difference would stay until a few minutes into the second half when Kearney grabbed another goal to give them a 3-1 lead, and looking like they might cruise down I-80 and over to Omaha for State with a district title in hand.

But Millard West would not go down without a fight as they would continue to press forward with more urgency and fight to try and keep their seasons alive, but all seemed lost when they gave up another goal just seven minutes after the prior.

There Wildcats were never going to end without a fight, as they grabbed a consolation goal late to make the game 4-2, where it would stay for the rest of the night.

Millard West boy’s soccer team lost in a district final to Kearney for the second straight year, and would miss out on the State tournament.

The Millard West girl’s won their State quarterfinal over Omaha Westside by a score of 8-1. They will face Lincoln East in their semi at 1 PM on May 11.