State tournament jitters? Summit Christian Academy sure didn’t show any Wednesday.
It was business as usual in the Missouri Class 1 girls soccer semifinals for the Eagles, who have bludgeoned their way through the postseason. They got a hat trick from the high-scoring Kassi Ginther, who broke a national career scoring record, and rolled over Fatima 5-0 at Swope Soccer Village.
Summit Christian (24-3) will play for the first team state championship in the school’s history against St. Vincent at 4 p.m. Thursday. St. Vincent beat Principia 1-0 in the other semifinal on a goal with 18 seconds to play.
Ginther’s three goals gave her 122 for the season and 318 in her career, breaking the previous mark of 315 she tied in Summit Christian’s previous game.
“I was so excited,” said Ginther, a senior forward who has signed with Iowa State. “To be able to break that record is an honor and I hope I can do more tomorrow, too.”
Maya Cofield opened the scoring in the first minute, and Ginther knocked in the next three goals for the Eagles. She put in a one-timer from the left of the box, turned and fired on a ball from Riley Painter and added another on a counterattack.
Summit Christian led 4-0 by halftime and had outshot Fatima 12-0. And the Eagles, who had outscored the opposition 33-3 in three postseason games, were well on their way to another win. An own goal 6 minutes into the second half completed the scoring.
Class 2 semifinal: Springfield Catholic 3, St. Pius X 1
Springfield Catholic likes to play bruising, physical soccer. St. Pius X is more of a finesse, possession team.
On Wednesday afternoon, brawn prevailed.
Springfield Catholic scored two goals in the second half and kept St. Pius X from generating any offense, beating the Warriors 3-1 in a Missouri Class 2 girls soccer semifinal at Swope Soccer Village.
Springfield Catholic (20-4-2) kept St. Pius X in check for most of the last 40 minutes, surrendering only two shots after halftime and outshooting the Warriors 10-6 in the game.
“We’ve never been a big, bruising team,” St. Pius X coach Todd Ashby said. “We try to play a smart, strategic style. And Springfield Catholic played a real direct, physical style.”
Springfield Catholic struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the 6th minute when Emma Skorina took a long through ball into the 18-yard box and found an empty net when St. Pius X goalie Faith Wright left her line.
St. Pius X (19-7) generated opportunities in the first half, and Sophia Cissell provided the equalizer in the 24th minute. Cissell, who banged a shot off the crossbar a couple of minutes earlier, took control of the ball outside the box and rolled it to the far post past Springfield Catholic goalie Ellie Palmer.
“When we got the equalizer I knew it was a whole new game,” Ashby said. “But when we got down the girls were going to be like, ‘oh we’re going to struggle to score.’ ”
Defense and ball possession have been St. Pius X’s strong suits, which meant the Warriors were in trouble when Springfield Catholic regained the lead on a goal by Brinn Cooper in the 60th minute. Kaleia Huttenlocher punched in a shot from the middle of the box 5 minutes later to seal the Warriors’ fate.
St. Pius X, which is playing in its third consecutive final four, will face Duchesne at 10 a.m. Thursday in the consolation match. Duchesne (12-11) lost to Cape Girardeau Notre Dame 2-0 in the other semifinal.