OMAHA – Kearney’s quest for a second consecutive Class A boys state soccer championship came to an end this morning.
The Bearcats’ 28-game winning streak dating back to last season also ended with a 1-0 loss to Papillion-La Vista in the first round of the state tournament at Morrison Stadium in Omaha.
With about 22 minutes left, the Monarchs’ aggressive offense broke through. Jackson Waldron’s shot slipped through Kearney goalie Jacob Hardy’s hands and across the goal line.
The Bearcats nearly scored the equalizer with 11 minutes, 38 seconds left. A Bearcat attacker headed the ball toward the net off a corner kick, but sophomore goalie Jayden Kreis poked it away.
The Monarchs controlled the possession in the first half. They tallied four shots on goal and had seven corner kicks compared with the Bearcats’ one.
The Bearcats didn’t register a shot on goal in the first half. They nearly scored about midway through the period when Royce Austen’s free kick from about 40 yards out ricocheted off the post.
Less than one minute after Austen’s near goal, Carson Elstermeier had a chance to break the scoreless tie. Kreis left the 12-yard box to try to stop the loose ball. With Kreis out of position, Elstermeier’s shot went wide.
For the game, the Monarchs outshot the Bearcats 7-1 and held an 8-6 advantage in corner kicks.