Buhler-Newton clash marks return of spring sports

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Newton senior Aketzali Solorio-Jimenez makes one of her six saves in the first half of play against Buhler in the season opener at Fischer Field. The game was the first high school spring sport contest in the area since 2019.
Buhler junior Aubrey Tanksley, right, is being challenged by Newton freshman Isabel Sandoval during the season opener at Fischer Field. Tanksley scored three goals with three assists in a 9-0 Buhler win.
Newton junior Adeline Tonn, left, is challenged by Buhler junior Abby Yutzy during play at Fischer Field. Newton plays Monday at the McPherson Invitational.
Buhler senior Mallory Hanen handles the ball during the season opener at Newton.
Newton freshman Sophia Hauser was one of 15 freshmen on the Railer roster in the season opener against Buhler at Fisher Field.
Buhler junior Maren Lackey handles the ball during play against Newton at Fischer Field. Buhler plays Thursday at Hutchinson.

The Newton-Buhler girls’ soccer game Tuesday at Fisher Field marked more than just the start of the season for a pair of teams.

It marked the return of area spring high school sports after last season was canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Buhler, a Class 4-3-2-1A final four team from 2019, prevailed 9-0.

“There’s things we obviously need to improve on, but it was a pretty good first game,” Buhler coach Randall Rank said. “I know that we’re young with some of the girls on the team. I think there were some first-game jitters. We had to get some of the bugs out.”

Rank said some of his players did get to play in the off-season.

“There are some girls who played summer,” Rank said. “We had some summer workouts. Some of the girls played club in the fall. We had a few play indoors in the winter. We have a lot of girls who are multi-sport athletes. We have girls playing tennis, volleyball, basketball, golf.”

Rank said he’d like to see his team return to state play.

“We feel like, losing last season, we are looking forward to,” Rank said. “Hopefully, if we contunue to improve, we’ll be right there to reach some of those goals. The big one is obviously we want to go back to state.”

Newton took the field with 15 freshmen on the roster, along with 10 upperclassmen.

“For the group of girls that we have, we have a lot of young, inexperienced players, we did a fantastic job against a very quality team,” Newton coach Scott Jantzi said. “We had our hiccups, but we’re going to make our adjustments in training. We haven’t been able to go up against anybody other than ourselves. This is a totally different ballgame. We’re going to make our improvements throughout the year. … We had quality chances. Their keeper liked to play off her line and we just couldn’t find our way to get one over her. I’m very pleased with how we adjusted to their play.”

Buhler had two hat tricks in the game — senior Alexis Hutton and junior Aubrey Tanksley. Tanksley added three assists. Hutton had two assists. Freshman Teigan Nielsen added two goals. Ashlyn Adcock also had a goal.

Jessi Fernau had eight saves in goal for the clean sheet.

Newton used two goalkeepers. Senior Aketzali Solorio-Jimenez played the first half, making six saves. She played the field in the second half. Freshman Estrella Mendez-Campos played the second half with seven saves.

Buhler scored on three of its first four shots, all in the first 13:10 of play. The first two goals came off corner kicks. The third was a breakaway.  Nielsen added a breakaway goal in the 39th minute.

Newton wasn’t entirely without chances in the first half, generating several scoring opportunities including a shot in the 40th minute that was saved.

Buhler held a 10-3 advantage in first-half shots.

Buhler scored on a corner kick in the 43rd minute, the Crusaders’ first shot of the second half. Buhler added four more tallies in the game. Newton held the Crusaders scoreless in the final 13 minutes to prevent the 10-goal mercy rule from being applied.

Buhler takes on rival Hutchinson at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Hutchinson’s soccer complex.

Newton takes on host McPherson at 8 p.m. Monday in the first round of the McPherson Invitational, followed by games Tuesday and April 1.

“They’re going to be another quality squad,” Jantzi said. “We’ll go back to the drawing board and look at what we’re going to do defensive-wise and go from there. I’m very proud of how the girls fought and didn’t give up the mercy rule.”

Buhler;4;5;—;9

Newton;0;0;—;0

1. B Ashlyn Adcock (Alexis Hutton) 8:43

2. B Hutton (Aubrey Tanksley) 9:51

3. B Tanksley (Hutton) 13:10

4. B Teigan Nielsen (Kaylee Parker) 38:58

5. B Hutton (Tanksley) 42:30

6. B Hutton (Olivia Frederick) 48:32 

7. B Neilson (Tanksley) 50:43

8. B Tanksley (unassisted) 58:42

9. B Tanksley (unassisted) 66:35

Total shots — Buh. 10-14—24, New. 3-6—9. Shots on goal — Buh. 10-12—22, New. 3-5—8. Saves — Buh.: Jessi Ferneau (W) 3-5—8. New.: Aketzali Solorio-Jimenez (L, 40:00, 4 ga) 6-x—6; Estrella Mendez-Campos (40:00, 5 ga) x-7—7. Corner kicks — Buh. 11, New. 0. Fouls — Buh. 6, New. 4. Offside — Buh. 0, New. 0. Cautions — Buh.: Hutton 68:31.

Junior varsity — Buhler 7, Newton 0.

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com