'22 Boys Postseason #2 (10-31)by Admin on 10/31/22
Vol 2. Edition 2 (10-31-22).
Happy Halloween everyone!
The opening weekend of the state playoffs is in the books - a full day of 77 games played throughout the state - all in Classes 2, 3 and 4 Saturday. Another round of 30 matches are on tap for tonight (Class 3 is off tonight), while Tuesday’s slate is loaded with 70 games - mostly semifinals. Hopefully the wet weather of Sunday is gone and this week’s warm forecast will make for some great competition and worthy championship experiences.
The soccer postseason always provides a wild ride of emotions, classic games and a chance for all 224 teams to reach St. Louis for the final weekend Nov. 18-19. We will do our best to stay on top of all the action over the next few weeks, so here we go…
Note: Most of what we will be looking at going forward, especially in match analysis, will be based on our Missouri Power Rankings (MPR) and district seedings. Most of the time, these numbers line up fairly well. Sometimes they don’t and that allows for a lot of the tension and upsets that go into a great night on the pitch. Our MPR is relatively new (this is year four) and we are still tweaking it to make it as authentic as we can. That being said, the MPR has been fairly accurate over those years in determining advancement. Our final regular season MPR is likely our most accurate because this is the one that has almost all of the season’s results added for the first time. (Coaches must update prior to the postseason.) However, this is a snapshot of the whole season and most teams have changed (some drastically) throughout the season based on injuries, growth, etc. Also, one of the beauties of the playoffs is the constant study of who can get hot at the right time. Matchups also come into play - some teams just match up better against others even though those same teams could easily drop a decision to a lower-ranked squad on any given night, which is what drives the tension. The numbers we provide are designed to help promote the weeks ahead and all the pageantry that goes with it. For example, teams within .50 of each other have traditionally been the most prime for an upset with the average upset being at a .30 difference. Anything over .50 can truly be considered a “shocker” of the tournament. A team's MPR is in parentheses throughout.
MPR 61-77 correct (79%)
District seeding 63-77 correct (82%)
District Upsets by seeding were mostly at the 4/5 game (8) and 3/6 games (4), while only two were at the 2/7 games (more on those in a bit). A fun point to look at…all of the 4/5 games that the 5 seed won were by one goal and 12 of the 16 district upsets were by one goal. Class 4 District 2 #6 Kirkwood’s 4-0 win over #3 Lafayette was the biggest outlier.
As for MPR, the two shockers both involved the 13th ranked teams in Class 3-4. C3 D7 Raytown South (47 MPR) knocked out 2 seed Grain Valley (13) 1-0, while C4 D1 7 seed Jackson (44 MPR) was up to its annual 1-0 postseason magic when it ousted 2 seed Northwest. Jackson has made a living of being a tough out the past few years - no matter the record or the MPR, which just goes to show how important matchups become.
Class 1 - As mentioned, Class 1 gets started in full tonight with five first-round matchups between 4-5 seeds. Class 1 only has 42 schools participating so most of the action there will be get going in full Tuesday.
Class 2 - Four districts are in action tonight with semis in Districts 4, 5 and 8. In D4 two schools who surprised Saturday in wins go in as underdogs tonight, although 4 seed Helias has a real solid shot at knocking off 1 seed Fulton. Helias (31) rolled over Kirksville 6-1 Saturday and is on a bit of a roll lately while Fulton (21) has scuffled a bit over the final few weeks. In the other semi, #6 Mexico (39) toppled Wright City (33) for the second time in two weeks to reach the semis, but comes in as a decided underdog to 2 seed Southern Boone (24). Fulton and Helias meet for the first time this year while SBC already thumped Mexico 5-0 earlier. In D5 1 seed Logan Rogersville (3) and 2 seed Osage (5) are heavy favorites to advance to this week’s finals against Cassville (25) and Monett (22), respectively. Monett’s strong tradition could be a factor and Cassville’s first winning season since 2019 may help, but both teams have big hills to climb. D6 has two quarterfinals tonight. In D8 1 seed Excelsior Springs (7) shouldn’t have much problem with Chillicothe (36), but the other semi between Bishop LeBlond (15) and St. Pius (KC) (32) could be interesting. LeBlond beat Pius 3-0 earlier, but Pius always seems to find a way to be in these games over the years.
Class 3 - No games tonight in C3, but Saturday made for a highly competitive start to the week with 31 games. D7 Raytown South’s win over Grain Valley was the biggest shocker but most seeds held true. Even 6 seed Pembroke Hill’s 3-2 win over #3 Lincoln Prep in D8 didn’t seem far-fetched in a district loaded from 1-7 that will provide fireworks this week. Only top seed KC East had an easy day. The semis this week should be quite competitive at Pembroke Hill’s new complex. Kearney’s (27) 3-2 overtime win over Smithville (20) being the epitome of the closeness of the teams in that district. The two teams ended the regular season with a 2-1 Kearney penalties win and the follow up a week later just showed how close those two teams are. Elsewhere, most of the top seeds cruised. Tuesday’s slate of semifinals will be a big day for those who have survived so far.
Class 4 - Three top top 20 teams had their seasons end Saturday as Northwest (13), Carthage (15) and Marquette (17) all bowed out. Jackson’s win was the biggest by MPR difference (.99), while Ray-Pec’s (28) 3-2 victory over Carthage and Eureka’s (26) 1-0 win over Marquette were actually in games between teams only .15 apart in the final MPR. By seed, 7 seed Timberland’s (47) 3-1 win over 2 seed Howell (38) was Saturday’s other Class 4 bracket breaker, but MPR would say that game had the potential for being a surprise as only .33 separated the two. Tonight’s action is only in D5 where that tourney kicks off as Kickapoo (5) and Ozark (8) as prohibitive favorites. The best game of the night should be the 4/5 between #4 Waynesville (32) and #5 Neosho (27) who are separated only by .11 in the MPR.
A recap of tonight’s action on tap for tomorrow…plus a look at how the new Championship Factor has affected all sports so far in MO later this week.