The countdown continues for Rockhurst senior forward Jacob Amey and the Hawklets.
Over the course of the past three seasons, the team has finished fourth, third and then second in Missouri Class 4 soccer.
By virtue of the team’s 2-1 win over Christian Brothers College at the Soccer Park on Friday, the chance to lower that number one more time — to the number that matters most — still exists.
That’s what was squarely in Amey’s sights, he said.
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“To do that (make such progress) every year has been great” Amey said. “We want to take that last step now. I think that showed today.”
While Rockhurst (26-3) didn’t break through until there was about 15 minutes left, it wasn’t as if the Hawklets didn’t have chances.
They had more than their fair share, CBC coach Terry Michler said.
“We were defending, covering our face, on our heels most of the night,” Michler said. “We looked tired and they looked fresh. Give credit to them, they played so much better than when we played them in Jefferson City earlier this season. They were the much more athletic side tonight.”
It was Amey that broke through twice for Rockhurst.
He opened the scoring in the 65th minute and then knocked one into an open net seven minutes later to account for the team’s scoring.
Rockhurst coach Chris Lawson said that, while Amey was the beneficiary on Friday, it could have been that way for just about anybody on the team, considering all the chances the Hawklets earned.
“We prepare our kids, certainly, but they’re the ones who play,” Lawson said. “Their effort, their poise, they supported the ball extremely well today. We were knocking on the door, we just weren’t finishing.
We knew it was going to be a close game, and it’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many you get back up. Our kids really showed resilience. It was awesome, I’m happy for (Jacob) but we’ve got five kids with seven or more goals.”
CBC (21-6-2) did manage to break up the shutout when Cadets senior Jack Edwards scored with 17 seconds to play.
It proved to be too little, too late, however.
The win earns the Hawklets a small measure of revenge as it was CBC that bested the Hawklets in penalties to take the Class 4 title last year.
Rockhurst will now take aim at its seventh state title, and first since 2013, when the Hawklets return to the Soccer Park for the 4:30 p.m. state championship game on Saturday against either Vianney or Kickapoo.
“This feels great, a lot of people had chances tonight and I just buried mine,” Amey said. “We’re going to need somebody to step up and do that tomorrow so we can win the game we all want.”
Harrisonville falls in Class 3
As bright as Harrisonville’s start was Friday, it faded away just as quickly.
Playing a man up in the first half, the Wildcats scored a pair of goals, but they gave up a lead with 7 seconds left and were ultimately eclipsed 4-3 in overtime by Washington in a Missouri Class 3 boys soccer semifinal at the St. Louis Soccer Park.
The loss means the Wildcats will finish the program’s first-ever state appearance in the third-place game at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Friday, Harrisonville senior forward Seth Wiebusch, who tallied both goals, said that the team didn’t maintain its intensity and it proved costly.
“I think we, kind of, sat back on the lead,” Wiebusch said. “We were ‘we’re 2-0 up, it’s done’ we thought. That’s what we had in our mind and we just took it for granted. Washington made the best out of that.”
After a Washington red card in the 21st minute, Wiebusch continued his personal takeover.
After he scored his 39th goal of the season in the seventh minute off an assist from junior forward Connor Blentlinger, he scored on a near-perfect free kick and made it 2-0 in the 34th.
“Coming down here, it’s a blessing, a privilege,” Wiebusch said. “I think I put everything I had into this. I’m just proud of the boys, proud of the team for what they did.”
Washington (25-8) fought back. Blue Jays senior forward Conlan Jarvis scored just about two minutes after Wiebusch, cutting the lead in half going into halftime.
In the 46th minute, Washington junior defender Jeremiah Collins tied the score. Harrisonville coach Dan Coleman put things simply.
“This game was a little bit crazy,” Coleman said. “Their speed and athleticism was a handful. Ultimately, that was the difference. The pressure they brought was tough.”
Each team added a goal in regulation.
First, with just under 16 minutes to play, Blentlinger took a shot of his own and made it count. He ripped the ball from roughly 18 yards and gave the Wildcats a short-lived 3-2 lead.
Trailing and with one last gasp, Washington junior defender Jeremiah Collins pushed forward and knocked home the equalizer before regulation time ended.
“The defender messed up and I saw my chance and took it right past him,” Collins said. “The goalie came out and I slid it right between him and the post.”
The decisive goal came with 10 minutes left in the second overtime. Jarvis pushed forward and beat a defender and Harrisonville junior keeper Brody Pitts, ending the game.
“It was a missed clearance, it was just sitting there,” said Jarvis of his opportunity. “The goalie came out and I just did everything I could to get my foot on it. This is just amazing, I can’t believe it.”
Coleman said he was pleased with the overall effort put in by the Wildcats (25-4). He said that the team didn’t perform like a team playing its first game in a state-level contest.
He said he was happy to see how the team played, right until the final seconds, and he hopes for more in the third-place game Saturday.
“The boys came in focused,” Coleman said. “Big players perform in big situations. Seth is that type of player for us. I expect nothing less from him. Again, their speed was something we had to deal with and they made things tough.”