St. Vincent finishes second

KANSAS CITY— After the regular season ended, St. Vincent girls soccer coach Caitlin Pistorio made it a point to practice penalty kicks just on the outside chance her team would be forced to win a game in that fashion in the postseason.

The Indians came close to penalty kicks in the district tournament, and the Class 1 state playoffs going to overtime twice in four games, but goals in overtimes games against Saxony Lutheran and Maplewood, quickly lifted the shadow of a possible shootout.

The same could not be said for the Class 1 state championship game.

The Indians fell to Duchesne 3-1 in penalty kicks after the two teams battled to a 1-1 deadlock over 110 minutes in the Class 1 state championship Thursday at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City. It was the team’s first game to end in penalty kicks all season.

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The defeat ended the dream of a third consecutive Class 1 state title for St. Vincent, just a pair of penalty kicks short.

“There’s no way, when you lose in penalty kicks, that you should say a game should never end in penalty kicks without sounding like a sore loser,” Pistorio said. “So I’m not going to say that, But I feel like every coach feels that way. I really feel like we dominated that overtime. At the end of the day, they’re the champions and everything, but I thought we clearly dominated that overtime period. I’d almost rather play another 15 minutes, you know, and handle it that way. But it is what it is. We cannot be disappointed. We’re second in state.”

The door to yet another title was opened just slightly in the shootout when goalkeeper Isabelle Boschert missed the first of the Pioneer’s kicks, Kalli Seabaugh then came back to take a 1-0 lead in the shootout. However, Boschert stood tall stopping two of the next three kicks, and watching another sail over the crossbar. The Pioneer’s stalwart Sophia Goeke, who missed much of the season with a broken wrist before scoring two goals in the state semifinal game, sealed St. Vincent’s fate with the deciding shootout tally.

“I’ve tried using my keeper before in the past in a shootout and found it messes with the goalie’s mindset,” Pistorio said. “Their strategy worked out for them, it was good for them that she was able to shake that off, but I’ve never found much success in that.”

St. Vincent (16-8) found the back of the net first on a free kick by Mary Schwartz that slipped through the hand of Boschert, giving the Indians a 1-0 advantage in the 20th minute.

St. Vincent played defense for much of the second half, and nearly outlasted the clock before a foul in the box was called, which gave Haley Stockhausen penalty kick that she converted knotting the game at 1-1 with 10 minutes left in regulation.

To Pistorio’s point that she felt her Indians had control in the overtime periods. St. Vincent outshot Duchesne 7-2 in the extra time. One of those shots for the Pioneers nearly ended the game, when a shot hit the crossbar before being cleared away with seven minutes left in the first overtime. But St. Vincent limited the Pioneer’s opportunities from then on.

On the flip side Sara Kapp nearly sent the St. Vincent bench and fans into hysterics when her header ping-ponged around the box before being cleared. Mary Schwartz nearly ended it in the second overtime on a free kick.

The victory sealed Duchesne’s seventh state title in program history, after they won four straight Class 2 titles from 2013-2016.

“There’s no shame in losing to a team like Duchesne," Pistorio said. “They have been a powerhouse in Class 2 for quite some time and to do what we did this season, is something that should not be forgotten.”

St. Vincent will graduate seven seniors  including captains Seabaugh, Kapp and Hennemann. The seniors also include Fayth Brewer, Cierra Boland, Autumn Francis, and Mollie Baer, left a stamp on the St. Vincent soccer program won three district championships, made three final four appearances and won two state championships and finished second this season.

“It’s been a blessing to coach these girls,” Pistorio said. “everyone one of them means something to me and it’s going to be sad to see them go, they’ve all been a part of something special here.”

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