It was a big weekend of soccer for the Carthage Tigers and Rolla Bulldogs. Close to home the #5 state-ranked Tigers came to Springfield and knocked off a top Class 3 program by defeating Glendale 1-0 in penalty kicks on Thursday, followed closely by their Parkview Tournament Championship that concluded with a 2-0 victory over Springfield Catholic. That’s some pretty good soccer and points to the Tigers being one of the top programs in the region, regardless of class.
For the #3 state-ranked Bulldogs, it was a tournament championship in St Louis at the Parkway West Tournament. They opened play on Friday against the host Parkway West, ranked #2 in Class 2 in the first poll of the season, and came away with a 3-1 victory powered by two set piece goals, a towering header from their leading scorer Aaron Froehlich bracketed by a pair of goals from senior Austin Park. His first came on a header he ran onto on the edge of the six yard box from a second chance on a corner kick, his brace completed when he wove through three defenders as he dribbled into the box from the right and buried his shot past the keeper.
PHOTO GALLERY – Rolla at Parkway West
They followed with a pair of wins on Saturday against Parkway North (4-0) and Parkway South (5-2) that culminated in the Tourney title when West got past Francis Howell, ranked 4th in the current St Louis rankings.
The last time the two teams met, Carthage earned a 2-0 win in the Quarterfinals that they rode to an appearance in the State Final, losing to St Dominic 2-1. I expect that the two teams will meet again on November 16th in the Class 2 Quarterfinal.
They don’t have a regular season encounter scheduled so we’ll have to compare some head-to-head games to see if they can predict the outcome. Another game worth watching will be Thursday when the Kickapoo Chiefs host Glendale in an 8:30 pm start, played following the football (oblong) game. That appears to once again be the Class 3 game of the year.[table “” not found /]
Depending on the results of Thursday’s game between Glendale and Kickapoo, the Bulldog’s matches against the two Springfield teams will likely determine the Ozark Conference title this year as well. The Carthage Tigers likely wrapped up the Central Ozark Conference title with their win over Nixa last week.
The other Class 2 team in the Region to watch will be Helias Catholic. They lost their top player to Rock Bridge this season but are off to another strong start. The head-to-head results between the three teams will be a good indication going into the playoffs.