ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Rock Bridge (Mo.) played 40 minutes of perfect soccer. Quincy (Ill.) only needed eight. But for Eureka (Mo.), St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.), DeSmet (Mo.) and Peoria Notre Dame (Ill.) 100 minutes weren’t enough.
On a sometimes-rainy, sometimes-misty night in suburban St. Louis, the first night of the Gateway City Soccer Classic played out with all of its usual drama and surprises, and none bigger than the 40 minutes launched by Rock Bridge.
Rock Bridge, which entered the day 6-5-2, scored four goals in the first half and ran away from SIMA FAB 50 No. 39 and previously undefeated Cherry Creek (Colo.), 4-1, in a Bracket B quarterfinal match. Brandon Rettke scored three goals for Rock Bridge, and Cole Abram had the other. Peter Fancher assisted on three scores.
Rock Bridge advances to Friday’s semifinals and a showdown with Chaminade (Mo.), which edged Kickapoo (Mo.) 2-1 on an Alex Kleeman goal in golden goal overtime. Duece VanDaveer gave Kickapoo a lead before Chaminade’s Joe Cantalin tied the score at 1 to set up overtime.
On the opposite side of the bracket, DeSmet and Eureka advanced to the semifinals with shootout victories. DeSmet and Peoria Notre Dame played to a 2-2 draw before DeSmet emerged with a 4-1 shootout win. Senior keeper Connor Range made one save for DeSmet, and sophomore standout Avi Wesseh converted the decisive kick for DeSmet. Eureka and St. Thomas Aquinas were scoreless through 100 minutes of play. The teams went eight rounds of penalty kicks before Eureka emerged with the win.
Here are other highlights from the first day:
BRACKET A: James Sohn and Walker Todd scored in the first eight minutes and that’s all Quincy (Ill.) needed in a 2-0 win over Chaparral (Nev.). … Gianni Catenacci converted a penalty kick in overtime, just after the Francis Howell keeper had made three point-blank saves, to lift Rockhurst to a 2-1 win over Francis Howell (Mo.). … E.J. Verhulst scored the first two goals as [Christian Brothers mo-m] (Mo.) defeated Glendale (Mo.) 4-0. … [Mt. Carmel il-m] (Ill.) extended its win streak to 11 with a 4-0 win over St. Dominic (Mo.).
SHOWCASE: Nick Cheung scored twice as Milwaukee Marquette (Wis.) handled Lake Forest Academy 4-1. … Adrian Lekaj scored the first two goals as South Kent School (Conn.) rallied from a 1-0 deficit for a 4-1 win over Kiski School (Pa.).
For complete results, visit the Gateway City Soccer Classic results/schedule page.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Peoria Notre Dame led 2-1 and had a breakaway foiled that could have put the game out of reach. Instead, the team conceded a late regulation goal, then lost in a shootout: “It’s the story of our season – we can’t catch a break,” said PND coach Mike Bare, who paused, then added, “It’s frustrating.”