The venerable tournament returns with a new format. Previously a Brown and a Gold Division both featured pool play with winners and losers brackets, determining the schedule for Saturday. Only one group of teams, the Brown Division, will proceed in that fashion this year. The other set of teams will play a Round-Robin Tournament against a defined set of teams and game times with points determining the champions.
Given the difficult week the host Chiefs have had – losing in the 2nd OT to District foe Joplin Tuesday and needing a late goal to get past derby foe Glendale Wednesday – there will be motivation to show the Missouri Coaches that their win over #4 SLUH on Saturday and their statewide ranking is deserved. The best way to do that is to win and their path should be an interesting one. The return of sophomore Quinn Ruggeri on Wednesday accomplished two key tasks – a quality goalkeeper between the pipes and Aaron Strunk returns to forward after a stint in goal.
Friday’s opening game against Smith-Cotton should be a good warmup to the 2nd most important match of the weekend. That would be the Chiefs 2nd game, against either Catholic or Lee’ Summit West. Either would be an excellent challenge and key to staying up in the rankings. Locally, a Kickapoo vs Catholic game is preferred and ideally via the winner’s bracket.
That points to the most interesting game of the weekend, the 2:00 pm game between Catholic and Lee’s Summit West. The Irish lost a close game to Marquette Saturday at the Gateway City Classic. It was a playoff level game despite the rigors of 3 games in 24 hours and Catholic stayed close thanks to the play of goalie James Straus as you can see in the video below. They should be rested and prepared for this weekend and this game will be yet another to prepare them for their State title defense.
Lee’s Summit West defeated Rock Bridge 3-2 in mid-September and just beat Lee’s Summit North, the top-ranked KC team, 2-1 on Tuesday. Tony Mok, a sophomore forward, was recognized in the late September poll for scoring 4 goals in 3 games while Caleb Rivera and Alec Van Wormer are defensive leaders.
FRIDAY BROWN DIVISION SCHEDULE
#1 Catholic falls 0-2 against #10 Lee’s Summit West
#12 Kickapoo wins 5-0 against Smith-Cotton
Nixa lost 1-2 to Rockwood Summit
Glendale beats Willard 3-0
For the other half of the bracket, that includes Nixa, Glendale and Willard, Rockwood Summit visits. The Falcons boast an 11-6-1 record although they are coming off a 2-3-1 stretch the last two weeks including Wednesday’s 2-3 loss at Parkway North.
There are six teams participating, broken into two Divisions. Each team will play three games, against the three teams in the OPPOSITE division then the one they are assigned to.
1. Follow MSHSAA soccer rulebook for game time. If games are tied after regulation there will be sudden victory overtime periods. If still tied after two 10 minute overtimes the game will be final, no shootouts.
3. Scoring used to determine final standings:
a. 5 points for a win and 1 point for goal differential with a maximum of 3
points. 1 point will be awarded for a shutout (e.g. 3-0 winner receives 9
b. If teams are tied at the end of regulation and over time periods, 3 points
will be awarded with no points given for the shutout (e.g. 0-0 tie 3 points)
c. If two teams are tied with total points, head to head competition will
d. If still tied, total goals scored in all three games will be used to determine
e. If still tied, fewest goals allowed in three games will break the tie.
f. If still tied, a coin toss will determine the winner.
James Straus, Catholic Goalkeeper (in gray)