Glendale Falcons – 5
Ozark Tigers – 0
The game opened today in front of a large crowd, happy to be in the sunshine, evenly split between fans of the traditional power and the new upstart coached by a regional icon. With the wind at their back, and memories of their 0-3 loss April 25th in the back of their minds, the Tigers attempted to reach new heights yet again in this season of success. The Falcon’s, led by their six senior All-Stars, could have been tempted to consider the graduation ceremonies beckoning them later this evening.
It was all business for the seniors. Moments after the Tigers had their first successful foray into the Glendale box, the Falcon’s made their opponent pay for pushing up. It started in a familiar way, with senior Lou Opfer successfully collecting a pass at midfield and holding it against strong pressure. This allowed freshman Emily Cline to begin her run up the left side with Opfer sending a through ball that led her perfectly. Cline was able to beat her defender and turn towards goal where she threaded a ball between the goalkeeper and an onrushing defender for what turned out to be the game-winner in the 8th minute.
In the 10th minute, a set piece led to another goal for the Falcons, once again from Cline. Sophomore Emilee Williams put a ball up and just over the defensive line at the top of the box. It appeared the defense lost sight of the ball which allowed Cline to pounce on it and push it to the right side, where it bounced in off of the upright. Cline scored a third in the 21st minute, taking a ball from the left side and after a collision with the final defender, suddenly found herself going in on goal unmarked where she buried it reliably. Lindsey Sprouse completed the scoring in the first half in the 30th minute when in a repeat of Cline’s first effort, she was able to run into the box and as she moved from left to right, turned on the ball and buried it to the left side. The final goal was the prettiest, as Williams sent a cross from the left side into the box. Cline climbed high and headed the ball back to the far post, sealing the win and sending the Falcon’s to their first Quarterfinal since 2004.
The Falcons will play in the Quarterfinals on Saturday May 24th at 2:00 pm at Missouri Science & Technology’s campus in Rolla, MO. The opponent is Incarnate Word Academy, 3-0 winners over the Jefferson City Jays this evening. There’s a nice article on their center back Drea Barklage, a teammate of Chealsey Russell’s on the St Louis SC U15 National Champions from 2005. That list (IWA, STL SC) includes Blake Miller who has 8 game-winning goals for the Red Raiders. And you’ve probably heard, they are ranked #2 in the US by at least one poll.
BTW, congratulations to the graduating seniors and Happy Birthday to Karis!
Springfield Catholic – 4
St James Tigers – 0
The Irish faced off for the second straight year against St James in their quest to return to the Final 4. The Tigers had a year to prepare for this match and the defensive barriers held until the 23rd minute when freshman Shelby Hatz got the first of her two goals. Anna Delong would score in the 28th, Hatz would get her second before the half and junior Maddy Renner continued her recent scoring string with the final goal in the second half.
The Irish will play Saturday May 24th at 11:00 am at Columbia Hickman High School. The opponent is St Dominic’s, 5-0 winners over Hannibal this evening. This will be a rematch of last year when the Irish lost to the ultimate State Champions 3-0. St Dom is currently the 2nd ranked small school in the St Louis Metro area.