North snaps Dodge City’s 38-game winning streak, heads to 6A semifinals

North outlasts the undefeated, defending Class 6A champions on their home turf.


“Why not us?”

That’s the mantra that Head Coach Curt Wullschleger has been preaching to his team during the postseason.

North (17-1-1), who won its first City League title in school history, defeated Dodge City 2-1 at Dodge City Tuesday night. The win snapped Dodge City’s 38-game winning streak and avenged North’s only defeat this season. The win sends North to the Class 6A semi-finals for the first time since 1991.

“In the words of Ric Flair, “To be the man, you have to beat the man, Whooooooo!”  The guys were warriors last night!  They rose to the occasion,” Wullschleger said. “Big games call for big players and that’s exactly what was delivered by our team.  To go into Dodge City and beat the undefeated defending state champions on their home field was simply extraordinary.”

If there was any doubt that North may have had some jitters, those were vanished when North was granted a penalty kick after a hand ball in the box by Dodge City. Francico Lopez converted the penalty kick to give North an early 1-0 lead.

For Wullschleger, scoring first was critical.

“Scoring first is crucial.  It makes your opponent chase the game.  We believe that we can win the match which brings energy, work rate, and competitiveness that helps drive us,” Wullschleger said. “We have 13 shutouts on the year, so if we score first we have an excellent chance of winning.  At this stage of the season the result is the only thing that matters.”

Dodge City responded a few minutes later, converting a penalty kick of its own and sending the game to halftime tied.

North went ahead for good in the 58th minute when Emiliano Gallo’s shot ricocheted  off a defender and slid by the Dodge City keeper for a 2-1 lead.

Dodge City had numerous chances in the second half, including multiple corner kicks. But senior keeper Jesse Ortiz and the North defense withstood any attack.

“Dodge City had their fair share of chances.  Jesse Ortiz was our man of the match,” Wullschleger said. “He hasn’t been called on very often this season as a result of having an excellent defense in front of him, but he showed up huge for us when he was needed most.”

North will play Olathe West at 7 p.m. at the Olathe-College Boulevard Activity Center on Friday. Wullschleger and the team can’t wait.

“I get goosebumps just thinking about it. When I saw our name on the bracket of the final four teams in 6A Kansas it really hit home.  We do have a legit chance,” Wullschleger said. “We have a very strong chance to win it all.  The form we are in is going to be hard to beat.  It starts with the belief that you can achieve your dreams, putting in the work, and being a positive force that uplifts your teammates.  Winning state was not on my list of tangible goals to start the season, but you better believe it is now!  Someone is going to win it all, why not Wichita North?”