The last time St. Joseph’s Academy 15-6-1) won the state soccer tournament, the year was 2002. Coming up on 10 years, Coach Maureen McVey and her team are hopeful this will be their year.
In 2002, assistant coach Courtney Hulcer was a member of the championship squad that beat Lee’s Summit North 4-0 for the title. Lee’s Summit North (23-3) will be the opponent once again in the semifinals, Friday, 6 p.m. on the Blue Spring South artificial turf field.
In 2001, the Angels defeated Rockwood Summit 2-1 for the title. The win over Summit was particularly exciting. Both goals came in time stoppage situations.
In the other Class 3 semifinal game in Kansas City, Cor Jesu Academy (21-2) takes on Springfield Glendale (19-5) at 4 p.m.
“We feel good about our chances. We are enjoying where we are,” said McVey. “Our team likes to play on the turf. We think we can do well on that surface. All in all, I like our chances,” said the coach.
The players think so too.
Sophomore forward Kaley Nieters says this team has enjoyed the season. “We’ve had our moments. We’ve learned a lot of new formations and we’ve gone back to basics and that seems to be working,” she said.
Haley Kavanaugh, junior midfielder is feeling good about the team’s chances in Kansas City.
“It has turned out to be that kind of season we wanted. We are doing things so much better. The playoffs have been good for us overall,” she said.
Claire Champion, senior striker wants to go out with a title to the team’s credit.
“We’re really excited to be playing Lee’s Summit. We didn’t play them this year, but we did (at home) last year.” The Angels won that particular game.
“Beating Incarnate Word (Academy) was a heckuva game. That was a big win for our entire school. We’re expecting to do well this weekend,” said Champion.
The title game will be contested Saturday at 6 p.m. the third place game is scheduled for noon on Saturday.
Class 2 Semfiainals:
In the Class 2 semifinals, also at Blue Springs South, St. Dominic of O’Fallon 26-2) squares off with Jefferson City Helias (22-4-2) at noon and Rosati-Kain (22-6-1) faces Smithville (22-3) at 2 p.m. The Class 2 title game is Saturday at 4 p.m.
Class 1 Semifinals:
In the Class 1 games, played at Blue Springs, Principia (17-3) meets Springfield Catholic (19-6) at noon and St. Pius X of Festus (25-2) tackles St. Pius X of Kansas City (13-8-1) at 2 p.m. Their title game is Saturday at 2 p.m.