The Missouri Large School Final Four Soccer tournament opens Friday at the Swope Park soccer facility in Kansas City. St. Louis is represented by two teams in Class 4 and three in Class 3, including one defending Champion – the Rockwood Summit Falcons defeated Incarnate Word 1-0 last June for their first title in three tries. They’ll face off against Union who return for a second straight year, falling 0-1 to IWA in the semifinal last year. Summit’s seniors, including Anna Walsh (SLU) and Lily Schneider (SIUE) fell in the final as freshman to Notre Dame de Sion, lost to Webster Groves in Districts as sophomores, watching the Statesmen capture the title. Last year was the culmination of that trip as their senior leader Anna Lawlor led the Falcon’s to their ultimate goal. Can her understudies accomplish the same objective in 2019?
St. Dominic, who will face Kearney Friday, return for the first time since 2013 when the beat Helias for the Class 2 title (3 classes). That was a repeat as they had defeated Rosati-Kain the year prior, ending a five year drought that saw them beat Duchesne for third place in Class 1 (two classes) in 2008. I compared this year’s edition of the team to their 2007 Championship team back on March 19th that I saw beat up Springfield Catholic in the Class 1 Quarterfinal at Hickman. A very direct, attack oriented squad that’s fun to watch.
Nerinx Hall returns to the Final Four for the first time since 2005 when they finished third, in pursuit of their first title since 1988. I will no longer be able to prognosticate that their small home field was too large a hindrance to advancing as a few of you have heard me mention in the past. It’s good to be mistaken some times. Well done Markers! On the other side of the bracket is Francis Howell Central who have reached the Quarterfinals three times in four years but reach the Final Four for the first time since 2015 when they lost to St. Teresa in the Final.
On a related note, in early April I pointed you to some of St. Louis’ top underclassmen. St. Dominic featured three – Grace Bindbeutel, Asley Martinez and Riley Combs. Mackenzie Duff represents Nerinx Hall. More on them below.
Here is the schedule for the tournament that runs Friday and Saturday. To watch live, subscribe to the MSHSAA Stream. It’s $10/month (only option) and please note it is set to automatically renew so be sure to cancel next week! Please share this report if you enjoy it and come back over the next two days as I will update it regularly.
|Fri May 31||12:00||Class 4||Semi: Nerinx Hall v Lee's Summit West||3-2 Markers|
|Fri May 31||14:00||Class 4||Semi: Howell Central v Liberty|
|Fri May 31||16:00||Class 3||Semi: Union v Summit||2-0 Falcons|
|Fri May 31||18:00||Class 3||Semi: St. Dominic v Kearney|
|Sat Jun 01||10:00||Class 4||Third: Lee's Summit West v Howell Central|
|Sat Jun 01||12:00||Class 3||Third: Union v Kearney||4-1 Bulldogs|
|Sat Jun 01||14:00||Class 4||Final: Nerinx Hall v Liberty||3-1 Jays|
|Sat Jun 01||16:00||Class 3||Final: St. Dominic v Summit|
Friday: Lee’s Summit West opened the scoring in the 12th via Taylor Reid, the right wing on an assist from left back Staples. Nerinx struck back in the 27th when Sabrina Ochterbeck deflected Lndsey Heckel’s centering pass. In the 39th minute Heckel scored, from Madalyn Allgeyer, to give the Marker’s the halftime lead. An early goal in the 47th minute extended the lead to 3-1, as Allgeyer knocks home a rebound, but centerback Megan Barr got the Titan’s second goal in the 47th, from ACM Greycen Erisman, a header from the corner kick. Of note is the fact that Sr. Sarah Ruttencutter was given the start. She was 5-1-1 coming into today’s match.
Despite my mea culpa in the opener, I’m still prone to offer opinions. That’s one reason you’re here right, besides the photographs (have you bought one yet? Best way to support my efforts to expand coverage locally). The Marker’s lost a pair of All-State players in Gabby Smith and Margaret Lavigne but the move of Sr. midfielder Emma Christanell (SLU) to centerback, paired with So. Mackenzie Duff has created a significant barrier to their opponents all season. Partnering with Jr. Liz Kelly in goal, the team has given up less than one goal per game. The match up with Lee’s Summit West however points to two very similar teams with similar stats.
There are a pair of junior’s leading the team’s offensive charge, both committed to SLU Women’s soccer in 2020. Lyndsey Heckel leads the team with 16 goals and 16 assists while Jess Preusser has 12 goals and 11 assists. Preusser was recognized last year as a 2nd Team All-State and took over a starting position after Heckel went down with a knee injury as they were part of a regular outside rotation for Head Coach Brian Haddock (200+ wins and Private School Coach of the Year in 2018). The two games I’ve seen have had Heckel at the 10 spot (attacking midfielder) and Preusser playing behind her in the 8 spot. That’s where I digress with Haddock, as I’d like to see the two switch roles despite the numbers. Maybe next year. This year, I’ve liked what So. Shannon Barry has done up top, she’s aggressive, good skills and worth of more minutes.
So proud of these Markers and all the hard work they’ve put in this season💚See you next year!! pic.twitter.com/6LbGk9r0zn
— Nerinx Hall Soccer (@NerinxSoccer) June 1, 2019
LEE’S SUMMIT WEST
The Titan’s won their Conference title (9-1) enroute to their return to State for the third straight year. After finishing third in 2017 the girls lost to Park Hill (2-3) in the final last year. The team had six players on the All-State team last year but all seniors so the return this year is all the more impressive. Conference recognition included So. Madison Staples, Fr. Joey Fosnow and Jr. Taylor Reid on the first team with Fosnow also named co-Offensive Player of the Year. She plays on the left wing in a 4-2-3-1 as can be seen here. Reid is the right wing while Staples is the left back. The team began the year in a 3-2-3-2 (aka MW) but otherwise the current system has been in play since mid-April.
The Senior class, led by defensive midfield Jenna Mathis,
Memories that will last a life time. This group will always be so special. Thank you again for taking us on this journey. pic.twitter.com/TniUTqWanQ
— FHC Girls Soccer (@FHCGirlsSoccer) June 1, 2019
Thanks to an AMAZING class of soccer players!!
— Howell Central AD (@FHCAD) June 1, 2019
We haven’t seen much of Liberty after their two year run of Class 3 titles in 2010, when they beat Pattonville (7-2) and then Ursuline in 2011. The video below is Shea Groom (Reign FC/Texas A&M) of her last second goal in the second overtime of the 2011 State Final, breaking Ursuline’s hearts.
Rockwood Summit won their semifinal behind a pair of goals by Sr. Anna Walsh (SLU). She scored both in the second half, the first in the 49th minute on a 20 yard free kick. She followed that with a 55th minute penalty kick.
Kearney opened the scoring via Caroline Kelly (SLU) in the 33rd minute, via Mallory Dickerson. In the 49th minute, freshman Grace Binbeutel tied the game on an assist from Jessica Larson. Six minutes later Avery Malloy put the Crusaders ahead for the first time with her individual effort.
Game winner Avery Malloy, first goal Bindbeutel and Jessica Larson with third RT @jwestMSHSAA: St. Dominic holds off a late Kearney rally for a 3-2 victory in the #MSHSAA Class 3 Girls Soccer semifinal. #mopreps pic.twitter.com/gmeYMuvOx8
— soccerSTL (@SoccerSTL) June 1, 2019
Union ⚽️ finishes the season with record of 26-3-1 and:
Missouri State Final Four ✔️
District Champions ✔️
Four Rivers Conference Champions ✔️
Blue Cat Cup Champions ✔️
Southwest Showdown Champions ✔️
— Union Girls Soccer (@UHSSoccer) June 1, 2019
— Bill Battle (@BillBattle) June 1, 2019