Chaminade, CBC prepared for Class 3 state soccer semifinals
By: Warren Mayes
Two Metro Catholic Conference teams are on opposite sides of the Class 3 Final Four bracket, increasing the chances of St. Louis retaining the soccer championship.
De Smet won the state crown last year. The Spartans also play in the Metro Catholic Conference. So there will be a new champion this fall and the St. Louis area has a good chance to hold onto the title.
State soccer action begins with two semifinals Friday at Blue Springs South High in suburban Kansas City. At 4 p.m., CBC (23-5-1) will go against Rockhurst (19-9-1). At 6 p.m., Chaminade (24-2-2) will play Rock Bridge (21-7-1).
Chaminade, who is ranked No. 5 nationally, defeated Francis Howell Central 2-0 in its quarterfinal game. Rock Bridge, the Class 3 third-place finisher in 2010 and 2011, got past visiting Springfield Kickapoo 1-0 in its quarterfinal match.
CBC defeated visiting Vianney in quarterfinal action with a 3-2 victory. Rockhurst beat visiting Park Hill South 2-0 in it’s quarterfinal game.
Chaminade last won the state crown in 2006.
Veteran Red Devils coach Mike Gauvain said the win over Francis Howell Central was a good one for his squad.
“We played well in tough windy conditions,” Gauvain said.
Earlier this season in a tournament, Chaminade defeated Rock Bridge 3-2. It was a good win, Gauvain said, but it won’t make much difference in the semifinal game.
“They are a good, hard physical team,” Gauvain said. “It was an intense match.”
The Red Devils can duplicate that victory and get a chance to play in the title game, Gauvain said.
“We need to play well and keep our composure,” Gauvain said. “We’re very excited and looking forward to the games.”
CBC has a more recent state Final Four trip. The Cadets won state in 2009.
The win over conference rival Vianney was the fourth this season for the Cadets. The winning goal was scored with less than 5 minutes to play. Jake Meyerkord, a sophomore reserve, scored the game-winner to enable CBC to stay alive and advance.
“It was a huge win and a big confidence builder,” CBC coach Terry Michler said. “This team is built on character. The Vianney game was a testament to it.”
CBC played Rockhurst earlier this year in a tournament and won 2-1.
“It was middle October in Jeff City and it was a good game,” Michler said. “We won in overtime. They have a strong tradition and will be very difficult to beat. If we play our game, we will be OK.
“Their strength is in restarts and we must not give them away freely. We must defend them very well. We want to score the first goal and defend well. We need to pass well and control the tempo.”
This group of Cadets, Michler said, is excited about its opportunity this weekend.
“Absolutely. Who wouldn’t be. It’s a chance of a lifetime,” Michler said. “There are no guarantees to getting back to this game and, for the seniors, there is no other chance.”