Girls Post Season #2 - Quarterfinal Saturday (and Friday)by Admin on 05/27/22
Girls PostSeason #2
The girls season is rapidly coming to a close with a big Saturday slate (15 matches - one quarter in class 3 was played on Friday…more below) ahead after 32 district championships in four classes were decided last week. As always, there were some surprises who will look to keep the momentum rolling, the top seeds who took care of business and every team remaining that has high hopes of making some playoff magic and memories in the next ten days.
For those interested in the stats of it all, there was only a two game difference between the Missouri Power Rankings (MPR) and District Seedings when it came to predicting the winners through district play. District seeds were accurate in 156 of the 191 games (82%), while the MPR was accurate in 154 (81%). For comparison, boys district seedings in the fall were accurate in 154 of the 190 games (81%), while MPR was 151/190 (79%).
Concerning MPR and upsets, there are basically two types…1) those where the teams are within .50 points of each other and the lower pointed team wins and 2) those where the score difference is greater than .50. Category 1 upsets obviously occur more frequently, but the girls season produced nine Category 2 upsets so far with two of those upsets being significantly bigger than any boys upset in the fall. Both occurred in Class 3. #57 Blue Springs’ 3-2 upset over #19 Grain Valley (last year’s Class 3 finalist) came with a 1.45 point differential - the biggest of the year so far, while #28 Webster Groves’ surprise run in a demanding district gave the playoffs its second biggest upset by points when WG knocked off #2 Parkway West, which had a +1.34 difference. In comparison, the biggest boys upset of the fall was #21 John Burroughs taking down #2 SLUH with a difference of 1.02.
Overall, the average girls upset has been with a .38 difference in scores, while the boys was .31. Basically, the amount of upsets were nearly the same, but the girls produced a few more shockers so far than the boys did.
Statistical breakdown of the 32 quarterfinalists:
#1 seeds - 19
#2 seeds - 9
#3 seeds - 3
#4 seeds - 0
#5 seeds - 1
#6-8 seeds - 0
21 public schools and 11 private/parochial remain.
Class 1 - 4 public, 4 private
Class 2 - 6 public, 2 private
Class 3 - 6 public, 2 private
Class 4 - 5 public, 3 private
Quarterfinal Previews (Final season MPR rank rankings in parentheses):
Note: Missouri Power Rankings scores are next to the team that has the higher score between the teams. The lower the MPR score, the closer the two teams are in regular season rankings. For example, an MPR of +.10 is a much closer score than +1.05, etc. Analysis over the years suggest that any teams separated by .50 or less means that the game should be close. Scores above .51 tend to heavily favor the team with the better score, but also lead to the more surprising upsets. There are also many other factors to consider (injuries, home/away, etc.).
(2) St. Pius X (Festus) (+.61) vs. (11) Metro
(12) Crocker vs. (4) Greenwood (+.55)
(7) Valley Park vs. (3) Whitfield (+.32)
(14) Barstow vs. (8) Mid-Buchanan (+.40)
**Crocker and Metro are the only two repeat teams making quarterfinal appearances in Class 1 and both will have difficult challenges against two of the favorites. #4 Greenwood already topped Crocker midway through the season, 5-0. Metro (14-3) has had a big year, but will have to face a Pius squad that cruised through its district and looks like a title-challenger. Whitfield had the toughest district to negotiate and looks to pull off the boys-girls titles in the same year with Valley Park in the way of a final four trip. Whitfield had no problem with VP late in the season, winning 6-0. Barstow and second-year program Mid-Buchanan haven’t played this year but have comparable scores against common opponents.
(2) Perryville (+1.02) vs. (30) Bishop DuBourg
(3) Orchard Farm (+.29) vs. (11) Southern Boone
(7) MICDS) (+.45) vs. (19) Logan-Rogersville
(10) Pleasant Hill (+.13) vs. (12) Maryville
**Four of the eight quarterfinalists return for another chance at making the final four in what seems to be a wide open class after several favorites were eliminated in district play. Perryville is the top ranked squad left and has the biggest MPR cushion against DuBourg. Both teams have scored a bunch of goals on the year, but Perryville’s defense (.5 GAA) has been a strong suit as well. #3 Orchard Farm will have a tough task on the road at Southern Boone, a program that has been in the playoffs five consecutive years and whose seniors have averaged 22 wins over their three seasons. #7 MICDS will make the long journey to Logan-Rogersville in a contest of two teams with no common opponents. The best matchup of the day may be in Maryville as the Spoofhounds host Pleasant Hill. Maryville has been in nine of the past 10 playoffs, but never advanced to a final four, while Pleasant Hill has won seven districts in a row and been to three straight final fours, but has never won a title. Both teams find the net easily, so defense will be the key there.
(15) Notre Dame StL (+.02) vs. (16) Ursuline
(3) Glendale (+.72) vs. (22) Carl Junction
(28) Webster Groves vs. (1) Ft. Zumwalt South (+1.40) FZS wins 4-0
(11) Smith-Cotton vs. (4) Smithville (+.38)
**It was fun while it lasted, but Webster Groves improbable run came to an end Friday night at the hands of heavily favored and defending champ Ft. Zumwalt South, 4-0. The Statesmen had pulled off several upset to get there, but FZS proved to be too much. Two teams can’t be much closer on paper than Ursuline and Notre Dame. Notre Dame (15-8) has the better record, but Ursuline won last year’s Class 2 title and its record is deceiving (9-9) based on the demanding schedule. Carl Junction has had a stellar year so far (21-5), but will host perennial challenger and #3 Glendale who is coming off a big 1-0 win over local rival Springfield Catholic. #4 Smithville hosts #11 Smith-Cotton in the other quarter, with the winner getting FZS. Smith-Cotton advanced to its first playoff since 2010, while Smithville rode a high-powered offense (5.3 goals/game) to its first district title since 2015.
(24) Jackson vs. (3) Nerinx Hall (+1.28)
(21) Kickapoo vs. (14) Rock Bridge (+.21)
(23) Francis Howell Central vs. (8) St. Dominic (+.72)
(15) St. Teresa’s vs. (2) Liberty North (+1.07)
**Four of last year’s quarterfinalists and three from last year’s class 4 final four return to the quarterfinals with all four home teams having an edge in the MPR. Two-time defending champ St. Dominic (6 overall titles) is an annual fixture in the playoffs and hopes to not overlook upstart Francis Howell Central. Central advanced with a 1-0 win over perennial power Incarnate Word. #3 Nerinx Hall made it to the finals last season before falling to Dominic and the two could get a rematch down the road, but first Nerinx has to fend off a Jackson squad that was only seeded third in its district but won three close games to advance. Nerinx has won 14 straight. Kickapoo and Rock Bridge are the closest MPR game in Class 4 but RB does already own a 3-0 win over Kickapoo earlier, the only time the Chiefs have been shut out this year while averaging nearly five goals per game. The KC area match doesn’t look all that close MPR-wise, but this one has a lot of intrigue. Liberty North is the state’s only undefeated team left at 20-0, but St. Teresa’s history is one of the best in MO girls history with 19 final fours and six championships, including last year's third place finish.