Rockhurst senior Kyle McLagan’s initial reaction to a position change on the soccer field was a mixture of surprise, anxiety and even laughter. But he knew his team was desperate, and he was willing to try anything.
After an 8-8 start to the season, Rockhurst coach Chris Lawson moved McLagan from the back line to the front line. It marked the first time in McLagan’s life that he played striker.
Six weeks later, he may have found a permanent home.
McLagan tapped in the game-winning golden goal — his 11th tally of the season — in leading Rockhurst past Glendale 2-1 in overtime in the Missouri Class 3 semifinals Friday at Blue Springs South. The Hawklets, winners of 13 straight, will meet Timberland at 4 p.m. Saturday in the state championship game.
“When he told me I was going to play forward, I said, ‘What is Coach thinking? What is going on here?’ ” McLagan said. “I’d never played forward in my life. But I trusted him, and it’s worked out great.”
His timing was perfect Friday. In the 86th minute, McLagan cleaned up a loose ball from the Hawklets’ third corner kick of the overtime period, finishing off a pass from Benjamin Seitzer.
Rockhurst, 21-8, outshot Glendale 22-4 in the game, but Glendale keeper Nicholas Lantz was up for the task. He made 11 saves.
Cole McLagan put Rockhurst on the board in the 7th minute — a play that also started with a corner kick — before Glendale midfielder Seth Copeland provided the equalizer 8 minutes into the second half.
Rockhurst controlled possession but couldn’t slip a second score past Lantz until Kyle McLagan found himself in front of an open net.
Class 2: Carthage 2, Raytown South 0
The most significant — and perhaps unlikely — postseason run in Raytown South soccer history is over.
Carthage handed Raytown South a 2-0 defeat in the Missouri Class 2 semifinals on Friday at Blue Springs South, ending the Cardinals’ unexpected five-game winning streak that resulted in their first state tournament appearance in school history.
Raytown South, which opened the season with only six victories in its first 17 games, will play St. Mary’s for third place at 10 a.m. Saturday at Blue Springs South.
“I don’t think think we responded real well to this environment,” Cardinals coach Dan Porter said. “But it was good for the kids because we hope this won’t be our last time here.”
The two teams played to a scoreless first half — thanks in large part to Raytown South keeper Logan Rice, who made five of his nine saves before halftime. But Carthage owned the second half.
After a flurry of chances, Carthage forward Jessy Alvarado finally slipped a shot past Rice in the 61st minute. Melvin De La Pena added the second goal in the 77th minute.
“It just seemed like every time we cleared the ball, it would come right back at us,” Rice said. “We never got it up the field. We were always in our own defensive third (of the field).”
Class 1: Springfield Catholic 2, St. Pius X 0
St. Pius X was shutout for just the third time this season in a 2-0 loss to Springfield Catholic in the Missouri Class 1 semifinals at Blue Springs.
“It was a tale of two halves,” St. Pius X coach Todd Ashby said. “We tried to treat it like just another game, but it’s state. I think nerves played a big part of it, and that took us out of our game plan of trying to possess the ball and move it as a team.”
Senior midfielder Ryan Randell gave the Fighting Irish an early lead with a goal in the 26th minute, and junior defender Blake Weber added another in the 79th minute, sealing the victory.
The Warriors, 18-7-1, were held to just three shots on goal. Keeper Drew Rash collected his 18th shutout.
“St. Pius has been a team that scored early throughout the season,” Springfield Catholic coach Tom Guinn said. “We’ve been a late starting team and we usually play better in the second half, but here comes Ryan Randell and he puts one away in the first 30 minutes. That was huge.”
St. Pius X faces Southern Boone in the third-place game at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Blue Springs.