A first-half goal by freshman Gabby Grimaldi was all that the Notre Dame de Sion’s girls soccer team would need in its Missouri Class 3 state semifinal match on Friday at Swope Soccer Village.
But the Storm added four more goals, anyway, and defeated Incarnate Word, 5-0.
Three minutes into the second half, Sion senior Isabelle Romano punched in two quick goals. Sion rode that scoring burst to an easy victory.
Sion, 19-5, will face Rockwood Summit, 27-1-1, at 2 p.m. Saturday for the state championship. It is a rematch of last year’s state title game, which Sion won 1-0.
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“Early on in the (Friday) game, we had a couple of really good looks,” Sion coach Matt Darby said. “Instead of getting frustrated by missing those, the focus was those will continue to come. We just had to put them away because they will be there.”
Romano’s older sister, Anna, scored two goals in a 2-1 victory over Webster Groves last year in the state semifinals.
“It was pretty cool,” Darby said. “Her and her sister have been playing together forever. They get along great. It is nice for Izzy (Isabelle) to be the senior and the player. I moved her up top a few weeks ago. She has been playing in the midfield. We put her up top to be more of a scoring threat, and it has been working.”
On Friday, it was a freshman who got Sion rolling. After missing a couple of solid goal chances, Sion finally took advantage of a scoring opportunity.
Grimaldi took a pass from senior Stephanie Ostrander just outside the penalty box and lofted a kick over the outstretched hands of Incarnate Word senior goalkeeper Makayla Hussong for the first goal of the match, with 13 minutes left in the first half.
Romano’s first goal in the second half came on an assist by senior Madeline Hollenbeck. Romano’s second goal was scored on an assist by senior Delaney Ulowetz.
Ten minutes later, Sion added a score on a corner kick that senior Alexis Cutrera put in the net. Sion’s final goal was scored by Kathleen Gansner.