'22 Boys Postseason #8 (11-12) Quarterfinal Preview : MO Soccer Blog

'22 Boys Postseason #8 (11-12) Quarterfinal Preview

by Admin on 11/12/22

Quarterfinal Preview (11-12-22)

A cold Saturday for MO quarterfinals awaits 32 teams hoping to extend their season and reach the finals next weekend in St. Louis. Several intriguing matchups ahead after a long layoff always makes for a full and fun day for the sport across the state. Home field advantage, handling travel and managing the emotions of a do-or-die matchup will all factor into play. We have updated the MPR rankings and scores and will show the “favored” team by MPR based on the entire season so far. One thing MPR doesn’t account for - teams who are “hot” at the right time or who may get on a roll this week. The new playoff system vastly changes the regular schedule that most teams are used to so well-coached and mature squads will have an advantage.

Class 1
Bishop DuBourg (10) at Brentwood (8) (+.02)
What looks to be the schools first-ever meeting (since 2008) obviously has major implications and couldn’t be closer on paper. DuBourg (13-11) has rallied from a 6-7 start and four consecutive losses prior to postseason play to advance for the first time since 2015 and third since 2009. The Cavaliers slipped past St. Mary’s 2-1 in OT in the D1 finals. Brentwood (14-7) comes in as a slight MPR favorite and has only lost once since Sept. 23. The Eagles have home field advantage (7-3 at home this year) and a little bit of post-season experience as well after winning a district last year. Both teams give up 1.6 goals/game, but Brentwood has had a little more offensive firepower. DuBourg counters with a demanding C1 schedule that has prepped them for this moment.

Duchesne (20) at St. Francis Borgia (4) (+.63)
This one has an old school vibe to it as the only C1 team with championship experience (Duchesne ’93, ’04) travels to Washington to face maybe the tourney’s hottest team, Borgia. The two met way back on Sept. 1 and Borgia (12-9) rolled to a 6-1 win, but don’t expect a laugher this time. Borgia is just one year removed from nearly eliminating last year’s champ, Lutheran St. Charles, losing in penalties in this same game. The Knights got here via the same route this time by winning a 2-1 penalty shootout with #2 Father Tolton that went down to the 6th kicker. Duchesne (10-17) has had an inconsistent path to the quarters but Pat Turner’s squad got it together in the D3 tourney. Turner hasn’t won a boys title yet, but he does have four girls championships to his name, so the Pioneers will be prepared.

Smithton (9) at New Covenant Academy (6) (+.15)
The Cooper Sports Complex in Springfield will host this quarter between two teams with ample recent playoff experience. Smithton (19-6) enters after a relatively easy D5 win, their third title in a row, and on a roll with 12 wins in the last 13 matches. The only loss was in the Kaysinger Tournament final to Sacred Heart. The Tigers were eliminated in the quarters last year by a late Maryville goal that ended an undefeated season. The last loss before that was to New Covenant (16-8-1) 5-0 on Sept. 30. NCA is also playing its best ball of the season after upsetting both #5 College Heights and #1 Laquey in the D6 tourney. The Warriors don’t go down easily - their last five losses were all by a goal.

Summit Christian Academy (1) (+.76) at Maryville (16)
A rematch of last year’s district final now has even more at stake. SCA (16-6) assumes the tourney favorite roll after Laquey and Tolton lost and goes in to its first playoff as a heavy MPR favorite BUT the Spoofhounds will be a tough out at home. Maryville (13-5) eliminated SCA 2-1 in the district finals last season en route to a 3rd place C1 finish and is in the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons. Maryville relies on a potent offense, averaging 5 goals/match. SCA has figured out how to win the close ones, including three of four in penalties/OT this year and is coming off a challenging October schedule that has obviously benefitted them.

Class 2

Saxony Lutheran (9) (+.08) at Principia (11)
Two teams with a lot of history meet up at one of the best facilities MO has to offer (unless weather dictates otherwise and The Mesa is unavailable). Saxony Lutheran fans are probably still recuperating from the Crusaders district run that saw both semifinals (Perryville) and finals (Affton) go to penalties before Saxony (14-9) advanced. The Crusaders return to the playoffs after a two-year drought that ended a six-year run of district titles. Principia (11-10) had an easier time in D2 and also returns for the first time since 2019, when the Panthers won it all for the second time. Principia generally doesn’t wow anyone with its record (no team since the 2015 title squad has been more than two games over .500), but the demanding schedule has paid off in the past. Both teams score and defend at the same rate, so expect a tense game here.

Orchard Farm (3) (+.85) at Helias (23)
On paper, this is the biggest mismatch of the C2 quarters, but both teams are coming off emotional weeks that saw each play at its highest level of the season - exactly what you want this time of year. Orchard Farm (19-5) scored one of its program’s biggest wins when it bounced overall #1 Westminster Christian 2-1 in OT in the D3 finals. The Eagles started the season 1-2, but have been consistently good this season, with only losses to Gateway Academy (a team not recognized by MSHSAA) and C3 quarterfinalist Whitfield since October started. Take away Gateway’s (7) and Ft. Zumwalt North’s (5) goals against and OF has only allowed nine all year with 14 shutouts. Helias, on the other hand, struggled to stop anyone for most of the year (only one shutout in 26 matches), but found a way at the end to limit damage and take advantage of its offense to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2019. The Crusaders (8-18) will have its hands full, but will also host with a solid fan base behind them and some confidence that was lacking earlier.

School of the Osage (4) at Marshall (2) (+.07)
Two mid-MO public schools who have had program-defining years will meet in Marshall with very little separating them and potential history on the line. Osage (18-6) finally broke through, winning its first-ever district title in penalties at #3 Logan-Rogersville. The Indians have been on a roll as of late, scoring 32 goals in the past five games. While the teams haven’t met since 2010, they did play eight common opponents with Osage winning seven (an OT loss to Capital City the exception) and Marshall winning all eight. Marshall (21-2-1) has hovered near the top of the MPR rankings all year and held the top spot for a while before stumbling in back-to-back one-goal losses against Father Tolton and Hannibal in the same week. The Owls have been to three other final fours but haven’t won a district since 2017, so this is new for everyone on the field today. Marshall is 11-0-1 at home this year, which could go a long way in a game between two very even opponents.

Barstow (6) (+.12) at Excelsior Springs (7)
The final quarter in C2 has a team with championship pedigree (Barstow) and a team with last year’s final four experience (Excelsior Springs). Barstow (15-9) has won two Class 1 titles in the past eight years and reached the playoffs nine times since 2008. The Knights haven’t lost to a C2 team this year and eliminated last year’s final four squad and D7 #1 seed Harrisonville 3-1 in the finals. Excelsior Springs (14-5) is looking to improve on last year’s 3rd place finish, but the Tigers are slight underdogs at home. Both teams own 4-goal wins over St. Pius (KC). Expect a close game here and the Tigers have been good in OT, winning all three that have gone extra this year. Barstow, on the other hand, is 0-2 in OT games.

Class 3

Cape Notre Dame (9) at Webster Groves (1) (+.81)
Webster Groves is the only #1 MPR team to have survived district play after knocking out #3 Rockwood Summit in penalties. The Statesmen (18-3-3) have been solid all year (all 3 losses were by a goal to powers CBC, Vianney and Clayton) and they own wins over C4 #1 Chaminade, SLUH and Lindbergh, but the win that stands out is the 6-1 thrashing of Cape Notre Dame Sept. 3. WG defends as well as anyone (.6 GAA) and are playing at home, so CND (17-6-1) has a monumental task ahead. However, if ever a team found its stride it was in the second half against rival Cape Central in the D1 finals. Tied 0-0 at half, the Bulldogs maybe had the best 40 minutes of the tournament, scoring six times to reach the playoffs after a year’s absence and shocking their town rival. CND’s season turned with some defensive changes that has produced eight shutouts in the past 12 games after having only one in the first 10.

Whifield (2) (+.46) at Ft. Zumwalt East (8)
Whitfield (17-3) keeps climbing the ladder after reaching the C1 finals in 2020, winning the 2021 C2 title, it’s 8th. The season started a bit bumpy with losses to C4 quarterfinalists Lindbergh and Chaminade then straightened out with 15 straight wins before a loss to Ladue to end the year. Whitfield won the one that mattered, though, and eliminated Ladue in the D3 finals behind a solid offense (3.3 Goals/game) and a staunch back line (.9 GAA). Ft. Zumwalt East (18-4) ended Ft. Zumwalt South’s two-year C3 dominance with a 3-1 D4 title win in the third matchup of the local rivals this year. FZE has made the playoffs twice in the past three years and has nearly mirrored Whitfield’s offensive and defensive numbers. FZE started 2-3, but has been in a groove since, losing only to Liberty (Wentzville) 2-1.

Glendale (4) (+.1.04) at Webb City (29)
Glendale (23-4) will roll into Webb City (13-11) today as the biggest favorite of the day and the team most likely to repeat a final four trip. The Falcons are always good under 1000+ win coach Jeff Rogers and this year’s team has the makings of a special one after a dominant regular season with a defense that has allowed registered 20 shutouts. The two teams have played seven common opponents with Glendale winning all seven. Webb City, on the other hand, is only 2-5 in those seven matches and will have to figure out a way to tighten up a defense that has allowed nearly two goals per game. The Cardinals haven’t been to the playoffs since 1999 but held serve in its district and must embrace the underdog label. The MO soccer playoffs are ripe with stories of improbable wins over the years. A WC win would be another of those legendary stories.

Jefferson City (21) at East (KC) (6) (+.57)
The state’s capital city must have something in the water this year as both Helias and JC defied the odds in winning district titles. The #2 seed Jays (15-10) escaped D7 with three-straight 1-0 wins, including a final victory over last year’s final four squad, #4 seed Van Horn. It’s been a wild final month for Jeff City, losing five in a row at one point to end the season. The Jays will need to continue the defensive mastery against a talented and high-scoring East (KC) (18-2-1) squad that has looked a C3 contender all year. East is 6-0 at home, while the Jays have had success (7-2) on the road. One thing that doesn’t bode well for JC is the one common opponent - Lincoln College Prep. JC lost 3-0, while East rolled to a 4-1 win. East is rolling right now, too, going 14-0-1 in its last 15 matches.

Class 4
Lindbergh (10 ) at CBC (6) (+.30)
Two teams very familiar with each other meet in STL that could be much closer than what the casual observer might think. The two programs have met at least once every year since 2010 and have played 10 common opponents to similar results. CBC (15-9) is the favorite at home and owns a 1-0 2OT win over Lindbergh (17-9) back on Sept. 1. The Cadets also have the history, winning 10 titles in 21 final four appearances. However, the postseason almost ended early when Priory pushed CBC to 2OT’s. The Cadets play a monster schedule and haven’t really got much separation over the year, at one point losing four straight late in the year. Lindbergh got smacked 5-0 by SLUH Oct. 6, but since then has only lost to C3 powers Webster Groves in penalties and Rockwood Summit in 2OT. The Flyers ended a long playoff drought in 2019 with a 4th place finish and are back after a down 2021 when they finished 6-12-3.

Chaminade (1) (+78) at St. Dominic (12)
Two Hall of Fame coaches lead their programs into an intriguing quarter in O’Fallon. It’s not often that a state #1 enters a quarter with seven losses and a 5-1 defeat to end the regular season (also at St. Dominic), but Chaminade (19-7-1) is just that team. The Red Devils and legendary coach Mike Gauvain have three titles, but haven’t won one since 2006 and somehow enter as clear favorites in this quarter MPR-wise despite that late-season loss. When Chaminade is on, they are dynamic and dangerous, as witnessed by wins over Rockhurst, SLUH, Kickapoo and DeSmet, among others. They also lost to seven-win Parkway Central so which team shows is the X-factor. St. Dominic, to no one’s surprise, is back to a quarter under Greg Koeller. The Crusaders (17-8-2) have five titles, but also have been in a dry spell, last winning in 2013. Dominic opened 5-6-2, but a 12-2 finish has them playing at a high level once again.

Kickapoo (4) at Rockhurst (3) (+.06)
On paper, this one is as close as it gets. Last year’s champ Rockhurst (18-2-2) gets to host a quarter and that may make a difference in a game that will likely not be anything like the previous meeting this year, a 6-1 Hawklets win Sept. 17. Kickapoo (25-2) only has one other loss - that to Chaminade (although it did lose the opener to Rock Bridge that was eventually a forfeit win). Kickapoo survived Ozark in the D5 finals and has been on an offensive roll since losing to Chaminade 11 games ago, posting a 52-6 goal margin. Rockhurst is always a threat to win it all  as their 26 final four appearances and 8 titles would attest. One interesting note: Rockhurst did lose to Lee’s Summit West 3-1, while Kickapoo earned a 1-0 win over the Titans.

Rock Bridge (20) at Liberty North (8) (+.39)
Another matchup that probably can forget the MPR as Liberty North (18-5) hosts a Rock Bridge squad that had to forfeit 13 games for using an ineligible player and thus skewing their final numbers. Rock Bridge (11-13) was the state’s #1 team for a good chunk of the season and survived three 200 mile round trips in a week to win the D7 title over last year’s 4th place team, Blue Springs. The Bruins are talented in all aspects of the game and are use to playing in unfamiliar places, but have been a bit inconsistent in front of the net recently. Liberty North only has five losses, but none of the losses are particularly “impressive” in that none came against a playoff team. In fact, today’s match is only the second against a playoff team - the other was a 2-0 win over Webb City, the lowest MPR ranked (by class) team left in the playoffs. Home field will help the Eagles as they are 6-0 on their own turf. This is Liberty North’s third trip to the playoffs in its 13 year history and they are looking for their first trip to the finals, while Rock Bridge has been five times, finishing 3rd each time.

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