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Gene Morris / Staff Photo

Louisurg senior Carson Buffington launches the ball on a goal kick. Buffington allowed 20 goals in 21 games this season, making 115 saves.

LOUISBURG — Senior keeper Carson Buffington helped lead the Louisburg Lady Cats to a runner-up finish in the Class 4-1A state soccer tournament.

She was goalie for a team that posted a school record 17 victories on the season, winning four straight regional championships.

Buffington also set a record for lowest goals against average, .952, allowing 20 goals in 20 games. she posted a school-record 13 shutouts and had a scoreless streak of more than 356 minutes.

Buffington was named the Tri-County Spotlight Soccer Team Goalie of the Year.

“Getting the Spotlight goalkeeper of the year award is an honor,” Buffington said. “It feels very rewarding. Our defense made my job easy because of how consistent and good they are.

“Our team had an amazing season because of our work ethic and want,” she said. “Coach (Kyle) Conley and coach Pickmann always make sure we are giving 100 percent. That’s how we were so successful. It was such a fun and amazing year. I’m so sad it has to be over.”

Buffington posted a scoreless streak of 356 minutes, 4 seconds, which included three consecutive shutouts.

“This was Carson’s first full year in goal for us and she was unbelievable,” Lady Cat coach Kyle Conley said. “She is such a fantastic young lady and has an incredible work rate.

“She was a leader for us on and off the field and just worked her tail off each and every day,” he said. “She always put her teammates before herself. She set some records that might never get broken.”

The regional champion and state runner-up Lady Cats were 17-4 on the season.

Buffington made 115 saves, saving 84.3 percent of the shots taken against her. She started in all 21 games for the Lady Cats.

Buffington gave up just seven goals in the first half, helping Louisburg set the tone this season. She allowed 13 goals in the second half and did not give up a single goal in overtime or double overtime.

Buffington helped lead the Lady Cats to a 5-4 victory against Topeka-Hayden in the state semifinals, taking Louisburg to the championship game.

She held Topeka-Hayden to one goal in regulation and made two huge saves in shootouts as the Lady Cats held a 4-3 advantage in shootouts to take the game.

Buffington is a four-year member of the Lady Cats soccer program. She saw some varsity action in goal last season, played defense and also played goal for the junior varsity.

As an inaugural member of the program, which started four years ago, Buffington has been a part of four regional championship teams and two state runner-up teams.

Louisburg has compiled a record of 58-22-2 (a win percentage of 70.7 percent), scored 323 goals, allowed 111 goals and posted 38 shutouts.

She was named first-team Tri-County Spotlight, second-team all-league and was the Louisburg athlete of the week during her scoreless streak.

Buffington was the Class 4-1A goalie of the year and first-team all-state.

Buffington and her teammates held up four fingers for each of the four regional titles, following a 2-0 shutout against Piper for the fourth straight regional title at home May 17.

Buffington posted the shutout.

The Lady Cats punched their ticket for state with a 3-0 shutout victory against Kansas City Christian at home May 24.

Buffington had the shutout in goal.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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