With 28-mile-per-hour gusts, the Rockhurst boys soccer team knew it had to take advantage of its chances in the first half with the wind at its back.
The Kansas City Star
Sure enough, Rockhurst scored once in the first half and added another goal in the second for a 2-0 victory against Staley in a Missouri Class 3 quarterfinal Saturday afternoon.
“We knew we were going to have to face that wind in the second half, so we really wanted to set the tempo early on,” Rockhurst coach Chris Lawson said. “We had chances, and we took good shots. That first goal was really important.”
Junior midfielder Robert Dewitt scored in the 28th minute, and that proved to be all the Hawklets needed. Senior midfielder Robert Kelly added another goal in 71st minute against the wind.
Staley was able to pull Rockhurst’s Richard Reed out of the goal twice, but failed to capitalize on the opportunities. It was the second straight shutout for the Hawklets and their 15th of the season.
“When they’re down 1-0, they’re going to put some extra numbers up front,” Lawson said. “Our kids have been consistent, and our goalkeeper has been great.”
The Hawklets, 20-8-0, have won 12 straight since an Oct. 7 loss to Liberty. In its second straight Final Four appearance, Rockhurst will face Glendale. Staley finished 15-11-0.
Class 2: Raytown South moves on
Going into the season, the Raytown South boys soccer team had its eyes on a district title.
With a 1-0 victory against Liberty North on Saturday, the Cardinals have taken it a few steps further, earning a semifinals berth in the Missouri Class 2 soccer tournament. Raytown South improved to 15-12-0 with the victory and will face Carthage on Friday at 2 p.m. at Blue Springs South.
“It’s amazing,” Raytown South coach Dan Porter said. “Our program has never even won districts in 27 or 28 years of the program at Raytown South. That was our goal coming into the year, to win districts. We did that and then we reset our goals to get to the final four. Two great games by my boys got us here.”
Liberty North entered the game carrying a streak of five straight shutouts and a 2-0 season record against Raytown South. However, Raytown South was able to break both streaks.
After a series of shots near the goal, sophomore forward Alex Landaverde knocked it in with 4:21 left in the first half. From there, senior goal keeper Logan Rice held the lead and earned the shutout.
“They had a good game plan,” Liberty North coach Art Smith said. “They made sure they didn’t commit too many number on offense and packed it in at the back. It’s a disappointing end to the season.”
Liberty North dropped to 24-5-0 with the loss.
Class 1: St. Pius X makes state
St. Pius X sophomores Trevor Cissell and Charlie Parrish are next-door neighbors and have been friends since they were 5 years old. Over the past 10 years, they’ve shared a common bond.
From their back yards to the high school soccer fields, the bond remains strong.
Cissell scored a pair of goals Saturday — with Parrish assisting on each — leading St. Pius X to a 3-2 victory over St. Paul Lutheran. The Warriors qualified for the Missouri Class 1 state tournament for the third time in six seasons.
“We’ve been playing soccer together forever, so we know each other pretty well,” Cissell said. “He knows where I’m going to be (on the field), and I know what he’s thinking.”
The two connected for a goal less than two minutes into the game, giving St. Pius X an early lead. Paul Mirabile added a second goal before halftime, and Cissell stretched the lead to 3-0 in the 56th minute.
But St. Paul Lutheran, 18-7, made a late charge. Forward Ming Hon Lui put the Saints on the board in the 71st minute, and Thomas Kallekleiv buried a penalty kick only six minutes later.
The Warriors, 18-6-1, prevented another shot on goal over the final three minutes to preserve their spot in the state tournament, which takes place next weekend at Blue Springs and Blue Springs South. In each of their previous trips to the state tournament, the Warriors have taken fourth place.
“I’m done with fourth place,” St. Pius X coach Todd Ashby said. “We’re going over there to win this one. We don’t want to come back with another fourth place.”