Olathe Northwest soccer heading to Round of Eight in playoffs after defeating Olathe East

Team of the Week

OLATHE, Kan. – One Johnson County high school soccer team is getting its kicks in the postseason.

Olathe Northwest (14-3-1) won again on Thursday night, recording a 2-1 playoff victory over Olathe East. That sends the Ravens to the Round of Eight in Class 6A, meaning they’re three wins away from winning state.

The Ravens have 22 players in uniform, including 12 seniors, who are pushing their team to excel. Olathe Northwest prides itself on using team speed to score an average of four goals per game.

“We’re fortunate to have a senior-heavy team this year, a lot of guys who’ve been part of our program for a long time. They understand what it takes,” Chris Graham, 13th year Ravens coach, said. “We’re blessed to have it because it’s something you can’t teach.”

Scoring has been a big part of a 2021 season that includes five shutouts and a nine-game winning streak. All of that speed has put the Ravens far ahead of many of their competitors.

As of Wednesday, Olathe Northwest is ranked number four in the state Class 6A poll, and the school’s first boys state soccer championship seems within reach.  

“I think we move the ball really well. We’ve all been playing for a long time. We have 12 seniors on the team so we know what to expect from each other,” Cole Abendroth, Ravens outside back, said.

“Whenever you’re defending as a team, you want to get them into one spot on the field, but whenever we move the ball so fast, we’re all over the place,” Dylan Naidu, Ravens midfielder, said.

Cheers also to Blue Valley Northwest’s boys soccer team. The Huskies will meet Olathe Northwest in Tuesday’s state quarterfinal match.

If the Ravens should advance to the state 6A Final Four, they’d have a chance to win a state championship in their own stadium.

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