Rose Hill avenged its 2013 4A-1A loss to Bishop Miege with a 1-0 victory in Saturday afternoon’s state championship game at Bonner Springs.
The Rockets dropped a 1-0 decision to the Stags in 2013, and this championship ended a string of four second-place finishes in state title games.
The only goal in the game came on header by junior Chance Beckham at the far post with 18:26 left in the first half.
“It was a fluky goal,” Miege coach Joe Huppe said. “It had some strange spin and our keeper couldn’t get to it.”
The Rockets ended the season 20-1, while the Stags finished 14-5-1.
Despite playing 30 extra minutes and winning in penalty kicks, 3-2, over against De Soto in the semifinals, the Rockets appeared to have the advantage in aggression going into the 25-mph wind in the first half.
The Stags had to try and tie the match going into the wind in the second half. They dominated the last 15 minutes, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
“Our immaturity in our forwards and wings showed up in the last 15 minutes,” Huppe said. “We have freshmen and sophomores in those spots.”
Huppe singled out Rose Hill senior goalkeeper Geoffrey Stitcher.
“He was the difference in the game.” Huppe said.
Bishop Miege had a chance in the last 15 minutes but missed a header at the near post.
The Stags had a free kick from about 20 yards that hit the crossbar with 5:15 left, then had a free kick from 16 yards on the right side but no player could put a head on the ball.
Miege had 13 shots on goal in the match to just eight for the Rockets, and had three corner kicks in the second half.
“Our lack of maturity stood out,” Huppe said. “They are all juniors and seniors and had the advantage in speed and strength.
“It was a great game between two good teams.”
The Stags had eight freshmen and five sophomores on their roster and only returned four starters from its 2013 state title team, while the Rockets returned nine.
Ottawa takes third
Ottawa beat De Soto 1-0 in the third-place match on a corner kick by sophomore Keegan Finch that was headed in by junior Adrian Rodriguez with 24:36 left in the first half.
Senior goalkeeper Alex Stepp got the shutout for Ottawa, 17-3-1. De Soto, 13-6-2, had eight shots on goal to just five for the Cyclones.
The Frontier League teams split their two meetings during the regular season.