• Photo Showcase: District B-2 boys soccer, May 2
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Omaha Skutt will be flying high into next week’s state tournament after the Class B No. 1 SkyHawks topped ninth-ranked Elkhorn 3-0 in Wednesday’s District B-2 championship at Ralston.
The top-ranked team in Class B capped a 17-1 regular season with a district title, ensuring Skutt the top seed in the state tournament.
“That’s 17-1 and the No. 1 seed at state on the line,” Skutt coach Rob Meyers said. “There’s no other way to go in.”
Elkhorn had the first solid opportunity a few minutes in, getting a header on goal that required a diving save from Skutt’s Michael Kluver, a Creighton recruit.
Skutt notched the first goal in the 23rd minute when Nolan Heimann dished to Jacob Sievers, who put the SkyHawks up 1-0.
They would add to the lead less than seven minutes into the second half, when Jared Mertz put a left-footed looper over the head of Antler keeper Taylor Richardson.
Mertz tacked on another goal in the 61st minute on a header from a tough angle on a Skutt corner kick.
“They’re a good team,” Elkhorn coach Fred Doscher said. “We had a couple of big breakdowns in the back there.”
Not much came easy during Skutt’s run to the district title. Elkhorn, playing for the third time in three nights, seemed to run out of steam as the game went along. The Antlers started the season 1-4, but won 10 of 12 games entering Wednesday’s district final.
“We had to push as hard as we could for 60 minutes,” Meyers said. “They got in our way a little bit and disrupted things on our attack.”
The lone Skutt loss was a 3-1 setback to Class A No. 2 Omaha Creighton Prep. Wednesday’s victory was Skutt’s sixth over a team in the Class B ratings.
“They’ve kind of got it going,” Doscher said.
Skutt returns to the state tournament after missing last season, which ended a streak of consecutive tournament appearances dating to 1997.
Elkhorn (11-7)..............................0 0—0
Omaha Skutt (17-1).......................1 2—3
Goals: OS, Jacob Sievers, Jared Mertz 2.
Silver Hawks claim A-5 title in shootout
If there’s one thing Thomas Nettleton’s Lincoln Southwest team won’t be at next week’s state tournament, it’s surprised.
The Class A No. 8 Silver Hawks outlasted ninth-ranked North Platte in a shootout for the District A-5 girls championship Wednesday night.
Other than top-ranked Omaha Marian, Southwest has played each team in the Top 5. The Silver Hawks have also split with No. 7 Lincoln East. They’ve gone a combined 2-5 in those matches, but handed third-ranked Lincoln Southeast its only loss of the season.
“I think we’ve got a certain degree of confidence within our own abilities,” Nettleton said. “We’ve fared differently in those matches. We’ve experienced enough humbling defeats over the season to go with some pretty big wins.”
He’s hoping it all pays off at the state tournament.
“I think we’re going to be a tough draw with about anyone that gets us,” Nettleton said.
Reigning champs back to state
Three of last year’s four state champions punched tickets to the state tournament Wednesday night.
Omaha Creighton Prep and Millard North, the defending Class A boys and girls champions, respectively, each won district titles at their host sites. Prep beat Bellevue East 5-1 and Millard North took care of Columbus 6-1. Each is ranked second in Class A.
Defending Class B boys champion Gretna beat Plattsmouth 4-0 to advance to state. Omaha Skutt’s girls team, the other champion from last year, faces Elkhorn South on Thursday night for the District B-2 title.
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