A spot in the Missouri Class 2 third-place match wasn’t the record-breaking opportunity the St. Pius X boys soccer team envisioned when it reached the final four for the fourth time in seven seasons. But after a heartbreaking final four loss to Perryville in the semifinals, it was the only one the Warriors were left with.
They made the most of it.
St. Pius X defeated Springfield Catholic 4-1 to finish third in Missouri Class 2 and claim the best finish in program history.
The Warriors settled for fourth place in each of their previous three trips to the final four.
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“Finally. It’s a huge relief,” St. Pius X coach Todd Ashby said. “I told the boys, ‘It’s not the game you came for, but it’s the game you’re given. Only two teams get to finish with a win, and it’s so much better to go into the offseason with a win.’”
Luis Rizek, Colin Cummings, Manuel Victoria and Jacob Boeschen scored for the Warriors in the third-place game.
Trevor Cissell led the team with 42 goals for the season. Charlie Parrish had a team-best 14 assists. Both players are juniors who will be back next season. And they will return after two straight appearances in the state tournament.
Ashby noted that a 2013 trip to the state tournament helped the team in Saturday’s third-place win.
“Experience helps out,” Ashby said. “They’ve been here before. They know what’s involved. They know what they’re playing for. It really helped out. I knew they were going to go through those ups and downs like every team does. I’m proud of them. They played great.”