Jul 29, 2014
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State Soccer: Priory, De Smet Bound For Blue Springs

Rebels are 25-0, and look to close out a second perfect season in school history, while Spartans will be seeking their first state title since 1997.

Saturday afternoon proved to be an exciting one for a pair of local boys soccer teams with state championship dreams, as both the and squads earned trips to their respective state tournament Final Fours, with home victories over St. Dominic and Francis Howell.

Priory kicked off the winning afternoon with a 2-0 decision over St. Dominic, while De Smet held off Howell in a 1-0 thriller at Pierre LaBarge Stadium.

“It was an absolutely fantastic team effort,” Priory head coach John Mohrmann said. “We created a lot of chances, but sometimes in these kind of games, the ball doesn’t go in. And you just have to keep playing and keep plugging, and not let down.”

And that’s exactly what the Rebels did, after narrowly missing on a number of chances in the first half.

Senior forward Andrew Rhodes, a top candidate for area Player of the Year, who leads Priory with 25 goals this season, gave the Rebels the lead 10 minutes into the second half, when he put away a loose ball off a corner kick to make the score 1-0.

“The corner got whipped in and, kind of, squirted through,” Rhodes said. “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and put it in.”

Mohrmann said, “Some guys are just scorers. And that’s what Andrew is. Whenever we get the ball around the net, and he can sense that we’ve got a scoring chance, Andrew just comes alive. He’s just got that kind of scoring ability.”

Midfielder James Pieper put the game away for the Rebels with 1:56 left in the game, when he slammed home a rebound chance that made it 2-0, and gave Priory, which now has 22 shutout wins this season and has only allowed opponents to score in three of 25 games, a 104-5 scoring edge this season.

“You have got to give credit to the three back there, Andy (Kopfensteiner), Nico (Nicholas Stillman) and Kyle (Martin),” Mohrmann said. “They have been playing incredible soccer all season and it is a blessing to have them back there and not really worrying about teams getting great opportunities because we know they're going to shut them down.”

The De Smet game was even more of a nail-biter, as the No. 1-ranked team in Missouri Class 3 was held scoreless by visiting Francis Howell until midway through the second half.

But the Spartans found gold on a seemingly nothing play at the 18-minute mark, when senior Patrick Conroy sent a long pass up the right sideline to teammate Ronnie Rolfes, who made a terrific move to get around two Howell defenders, before sending a cross pass to junior B.J. Tucker.

The speedy, dynamic Tucker leaped high to get to Rolfes’ pass, but easily steered into the Viking net to give De Smet the only score it would need.

“Ronnie did all the work,” Tucker said. “All I had to do was make sure to get the ball on goal.”

From that point on, De Smet did a pretty clean job of keeping Howell away from its net to preserve its 1-0 victory.

“We had our usual prevent offense working for us again,” De Smet coach Greg Vitello said. “But Ronnie made a great play and B.J. got us the goal we needed.”

De Smet is now 23-4-1 this season, and will play 24-6 Lee’s Summit West in next week’s state semifinals at Blue Springs South High School in suburban Kansas City.

The winner of that contest will advance to the Class 3 state championship game, which will be played next Saturday, at 6 p.m.

Priory will play Jefferson City Helias in one of the Class 2 semifinal games, Friday, at Blue Springs South at 2 p.m., with the championship game scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m.

 

Scoring Summary

 

Score by Halves

F

St. Dominic

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

Priory

0

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

First Half

No scoring.

Second Half

P: Andrew Rhodes (25), corner kick – 30:22

P: James Pieper (6), rebound – 1:56

 

Scoring Summary

 

Score by Halves

F

Francis Howell

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

De Smet

0

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

First Half

No scoring.

Second Half

P: B.J. Tucker (9), assisted by Ronnie Rolfes -- 22:50.

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