OMAHA – Raymond Central High School doesn’t have its own girls soccer team, but students at the school can still play the sport because of a co-op team with Lincoln Lutheran. Some years only a few students from Raymond Central were on the team but this season eight players from the school were on the squad before the season was canceled because of COVID-19. After school each day the Raymond Central students would drive to Lincoln for practice.

One of the best players on the team was Kassidy Johnson, a Raymond Central student. She’s actually seen the co-op from both sides, after starting high school as a student at Lincoln Lutheran before transferring to Raymond Central, where she also played basketball.

While Johnson didn’t get to play her senior season, the goalkeeper got one more high school match on Friday evening after being chosen to play in the Nebraska High School Soccer Senior Showcase. And she ended her prep career very well by helping the away team win the match 1-0 in a shootout in the Class B girls match at Omaha Skutt. Johnson’s team won the shootout 3-1, and she was named the match MVP.

The winning team made all three of its kicks in the shootout by Samantha Tonniges (Columbus Scotus), Madilyn Ayres (North Platte) and Aydan Rideer-Koch (Bennington). The home team had a costly miss when a shot hit off the right post in the second round.

Johnson was the goalie the full match. She made a couple of good saves in the first half, and then kept the shutout alive in the second half when the opponent had the advantage with the wind.

Johnson would prefer if matches didn’t go to a shootout, but she likes the pressure.

“Ever since I started playing keeper that was one of the reasons I liked it is because I like the pressure being on me,” Johnson said.

Several years ago, Johnson wouldn’t have expected to be in this spot.

“I started out with micro soccer, and I kind of wanted to quit because I wasn’t into it,” Johnson said. “But my parents really pushed me, and I’m super-glad they did because it became my No. 1 sport.”

Now Johnson will play soccer in college at Concordia. She helped Lincoln Lutheran/Raymond Central reach two district finals in three years, and was an honorable mention all-state selection last year when she had nine shutouts.

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