UPDATED with links to stories on all of the games Saturday across all classes
Springfield Catholic – 3
St Vincent Indians – 2
Lydia Holtmann gets the game-winner today as she pushes the ball past a pair of defenders in a scramble inside the six yard box. The goal came in the 71st minute after Nicole Ortega made a run around the defense on the right side, shrugged off a challenge in the box and shot from the edge of the six yard box. Freshman keeper Katie … blocked the initial shot off of her chest as she came out to meet the challenge and then tipped Ortega’s second chance on the rebound up and off the crossbar. Holtmann’s run brought her to the loose ball on the far side of the six yard box where she kept the ball in front of her and pushed it past the defense and into the box.
It was the only score of the second half after a wonderful first half of soccer. The Indians took the lead 15 minutes into the game when Abby Leppe made a great run across the top of the box before unleashing her shot to the far post. Catholic had started the game strong but were unable to finish their opportunities, much like the game on Friday. St Vincent was well prepared for Catholic and were finding time and space on the wings behind the forwards to generate their offense and it came to fruition with Leppe’s goal.
Video from KOLR10 including best view of Lydia Holtmann’s game-winner
The excitement for St Vincent was tempered when 40 seconds later Bekah Bade, who had hit the crossbar earlier, ran onto a wonderful ball from Courtney Devlin. Her shot from the penalty spot was past the goalkeeper before she could react. The goal came from a build up down that right that saw Natalie Smid put a cross to the far side. Devlin’s initial thought to put the ball back into the center was the right one and Bade delivered with her goal.
Jordan Banasik gave Catholic their first lead of the game in the 25th when she was part of a great buildup. Smid collected a loose ball in the defensive end, headed towards goal and then slid a diagonal ball into Shebly Hatz’s path. Hatz had to win a foot race to the ball with a defender and her first touch sent Banasik down the right side. The senior sized things up and unleashed a shot from 25 yards that flew over the keepers outstretched arms and just under the crossbar. It was a beauty!
St Vincent responded well and in the 30th minute, Carsen Baron was called on to clear a ball that had gotten past the goalkeeper and maintain the Irish lead. The Indians continued to push forward and tied the game in the 33rd when a run down the right led to a nice cross into the box, finished at the back post by Chelsie Boxdorfer.
Catholic had one final opportunity in the half when Hatz was taken down in the box after a run down the left side. Sr Captain Natalie Smid hit a hard low shot to the right post but Katie .. anticipated well enough to make the save, keeping the Indians close. The heat and Catholic’s speed ultimately won the day for them however as the second half was less precise and with lots of space in the middle. An offense would attack, the defense would blunt it and the other team would take their turn.
Two titles in three years, a period the 10 graduating seniors can look back on with pride for many years to come. St Vincent won three years ago and return a strong team. We could easily see another match like this next year.
Pembroke Hill – 3
Orchard Farm – 2
Glendale Falcons – 2
Incarnate Word Red Knights – 0
The third place game often goes to the team that shrugs off the previous evenings disappointment and makes a commitment to finishing their season on a winning note. That team today was the Falcon’s, a team with a strong tradition of winning regionally and adding to that history with their second trip in three years to the Final 4. As Coach Roger’s noted for them before the game and at halftime, there are only a handful of players from Glendale who have scored in the Final 4 and their names roll of his tongue easily – Ty Keisker, Josh Keisker (currently an assistant Coach), Devon Newport and a few others.
He challenged them to be part of that tradition and Allison Yoakam and Emily Cline accomplished that goal today. Yoakam scored in the first half, according to Missouri State Bear Coach Rob Brewer it was rope just under the crossbar. For Cline, it came as she tracked down a poor back pass and fought off a defender to move to her left and put a ball back across her body to the far post. A level of effort she offered for the entire 160 minutes of games this weekend.
As I noted Thursday in the preview, this team came in playing their best soccer of the season. While they ran into a juggernaut against Liberty, featuring a pair of potential national team players complemented by a team that would achieve at high levels without them, the key element to the Falcon’s game was the heart and attitude they brought to the effort. It was a high mountain but they went up it, came back down and went hard again this afternoon. Two very satisfying displays for me and what should be very positive memories for this team. While they lose the likely Regional Player of the Year as Cline moves on to her next challenge at Drury, they return a group of freshman and sophomores that rewarded Coach Rogers confidence in them. Add Molly Brewer up top, Alix Opfer in the middle and the Falcons’ will challenge for the Class 3 playoff position again in 2012.
Liberty Jays – 2 (1st OT)
Ursuline Bears – 1
A dramatic story, headlined by Gatorade Player of the Year Shea Groom who tied the game with 3 min remaining after Ursuline got the early lead in the 9th. Groom got the game-winner with 1 sec remaining in the 1st OT period for the repeat. Check out video of the goal here!
Visitation Vivettes – 2 (PKs)
Notre Dame de Sion Storm – 1
The Viv’s, Luke Catholic and Liberty, earned their 2nd straight Title with the win via PKs.
Harrisonville Wildcats – 3
Notre Dame Rebels – 1