BURLINGTON, Iowa – A Mo-Kan showdown is set and Illinois flexed its muscle Friday at the adidas Girls Soccer Tournament of Champions.
All 42 teams in the three-day, high school event at the Burlington RecPlex were in action, with one group playing the semifinal round and all other groups contesting quarterfinal matches.
After eight hours of soccer, here were the highlights:
MO-KAN SHOWDOWN: St. Thomas Aquinas (Overland Park, Kan.) received goals from Olivia Meyers, Addison Denning and Anna Woltering to fend off Kearney (Kearney, Mo.) in one semifinal match. Kayleigh Stahlschmidt, meanwhile, continued her breakout weekend with three goals and an assists as Visitation Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) defeated Divine Savior-Holy Angels (Milwaukee, Wis.) 4-1 in a closer-than-it-appeared contest.
Aquinas, winners of five straight Kansas state titles, will face Visitation, the two-time defending Missouri Class 2 champion, at 11:30 a.m. in the Heartland Lodge & Resort bracket final. TopDrawerSoccer will provide Twitter updates during the match at @esrsoccer.
ILLINOIS MIGHT: Illinois was just penalty kicks away from winning seven of the eight quarterfinal round contests in the Greater Burlington Partnership and Iowa Economic Development brackets.
Illinois teams St. Charles North, Collinsville, Batavia, Dunlap, Moline and Granite City were winners. Metea Valley lost in penalty kicks to [Lee’s Summit West mo-w] (Lee’s Summit, Mo.). Peoria Notre Dame (Peoria, Ill.) was the only Illinois team to lose in regulation in the second and third highest brackets at the event, falling to Sussex Hamilton (Sussex, Wis.).
Then 50 minutes passed, no score; then 60.
As many people know, the longer the underdog keeps the game close, the better the chance of an upset.
Then, freshman Hailey Rydberg, who has been part of the US Soccer youth national player pool, scored to give St. Charles North the margin it needed in a 1-0 victory after dominating play.
“I really did have a good feeling that we were going to score,” St. Charles North coach Ruth Vostal said. “We weren’t blowing chances. We were just a hair off, one step late. I was confident we were going to get one.”
The successful Wisconsin programs happened to follow each other onto the main field during Friday’s ToC action. After Waunakee lost to Collinsville, Whitefish Bay players and coaches started to move their items into the bench area. Waunakee coach Jesus Torres and Whitefish Bay coach Robby Dubinski started talking, then agreed to a meeting and the only thing left to settle was the location.
Dubinski tossed a coin high into the air and Torres said “Heads.” The coin landed sideways in the grass, so they tried again, with Torres again calling heads, and it ended up tails. Dubinski’s response: “Waunakee’s coming to Whitefish Bay next year.” And with that, the issue was settled.
“What’s wrong with George?” Torres said with a laugh, reference George Washington’s face on the front of the coin. “He disappointed me today.”
GOALS AND GONE: Visitation Academy sophomore Kayleigh Stahlschmidt didn’t have time for any postgame chatter – she had her future to consider.
Stahlschmidt took the opportunity to leave after Visitation’s match to make an unofficial visit to the University of Iowa, according to Visitation’s coaching staff. In two days, Stahlschmidt has emerged as the tournament’s top player, having a foot in all seven goals [four goals, three assists] as Visitation has reached the bracket final.
BIG NAME MATCHUP: Granite City (Granite City, Ill.) and West Des Moines Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa) are only a few years removed from state title-winning seasons, but both programs are now competing in lower level brackets at the Tournament of Champions.
The teams, however, turned in a memorable game Friday.
Paige Faulkner’s overtime goal gave Granite City a 3-2 win and a berth in Saturday’s bracket semifinals.
ToC Heartland Lodge & Resort Bracket
Visitation (Mo.) 4, Divine Savior-Holy Angels (Wis.) 1. V: Kayleigh Stahlschmidt 3, Abby O’Keefe. DHSA: Grace Lenz.
Jefferson City (Mo.) 1, Waukee (Iowa) 0. JC: Sarah Luebbert.
Liberty (Mo.) 4, Helias Catholic (Mo.) 2. L: u/a. HC: Emma Wyrick, Kayla Yanskey.
Greater Burlington Partnership Bracket
Collinsville (Ill.) 2, Waunakee (Wis.) 0. C: Emily Holten, Sophia Sharos.
Lee’s Summit West (Mo.) 2, Metea Valley (Ill.) 1 (PKs). LSW: Kassidy Newsom. MV: Madie Sandberg.
St. Charles North (Ill.) 1, Whitefish Bay (Wis.) 0. SCN: Hailey Rydberg.
Iowa Economic Development Bracket
Dunlap (Ill.) 5, Assumption (Iowa) 0.
Moline (Ill.) 3, St. James Academy (Kan.) 1.
Granite City (Ill.) 3, West Des Moines Valley (Iowa) 2 (OT).
Sussex Hamilton (Wis.) 2, Peoria Notre Dame (Ill.) 0.
Belleville West (Ill.) 4, Middleton (Wis.) 1.
Dowling Catholic (Iowa) 3, Lemont (Ill.) 0.
Pewaukee (Wis.) 10, Ozark (Mo.) 1.
Ankeny (Iowa) 3, Springfield (Ill.) 1.
Burlington (Iowa) 9, Fort Madison (Iowa) 0.
Decatur Lutheran (Ill.) 2, Macomb (Ill.) 0.
Lockport (Ill.) 4, Peoria Christian (Ill.) 0.
Belleville East (Ill.) 8, Homewood-Flossmoor (Ill.) 0.
Pekin (Ill.) 1, Manteno (Ill.) 0.
Lockport 2, Belleville East 0.