Soccer Loses In State Quarterfinals Game

The boys varsity soccer team lost a hard fought game to John Burroughs to end their road to state after a groundbreaking season

Junior+Schrader+Ludwig+heads+a+ball+out+of+the+air+over+a+John+Burroughs+player.

Jayce Haun

Junior Schrader Ludwig heads a ball out of the air over a John Burroughs player.

Ally Schniepp, Sports Editor of the Ledger

ST. LOUIS – Liberty played hard in the state quarterfinals, fighting both questionable calls and John Burroughs in a battle to continue on in the competition for state champs. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, the Eagles were defeated at John Burroughs 2-0 in a controversial game. Both teams played extremely hard, showcasing their passion for both their team and their sport while battling for a common goal. 

“These two teams are built the same,” freshman coach Matthew Barker said at the game. “They have strong defensive lines and score on counterattacks.” 

There were many whistles blown throughout the game, causing there to be a limited time where the boys played for consecutive minutes. In total, there were nine yellow cards throughout the game and countless fouls. 

Senior Paul Valenti makes a move to keep John Burroughs’ player from taking it from him. (Monica Reyes)

The first penalty kick of the game was due to sophomore Bryson King holding in the box after a free-kick. John Burroughs’ senior Peter Farley scored on the penalty kick against senior goaltender Patrick O’Day. Due to this, coach Luedecke questioned the referee on his call and got a yellow card. 

Shortly after the John Burroughs penalty kick, Liberty had the opportunity to score on their own pk and tie up the game. Senior Paul Valenti was the Eagle taking the penalty kick. He shot in the left bottom corner, which was blocked by the goalie. The goalie tried to pounce on the ball before Valenti got the rebound, but Valenti swiped the ball backwards and swiftly kicked the ball into the net before the goalie could get off the turf. 

The Eagles’ bench, student section, and team on the field went crazy over Valenti’s goal. Their excitement was short-lived when the referee called the goal as no good, due to the goalie having possession of the ball. The rest of the half went scoreless with the board showing John Burroughs lead of 1-0 over the Eagles. 

“I think the game wasn’t our best performance,” senior player Neil Sinclair said. “We had our chances but just couldn’t finish.”

As the second half commenced, many times both teams got close to scoring, but the defensive lines on both teams did a great job of protecting the goal. At one point, King, a defenseman for the Eagles, ran to protect the left side of the goal as O’Day protected the right and middle area. A John Burroughs player shot to the left side of the net, which King took straight on his head, blocking the ball out of the goal and being shot back into the net off the impact. 

Later in the half, John Burroughs’ goalie got a yellow card for hitting a Liberty player in the box. The goalie exited the field and the backup goalie for John Burroughs entered the goal, earning his first minutes of the game in this penalty kick. Sophomore Carson Nolan shot the ball into the right corner of the goal, but the goalie recognized the side he was aiming at and blocked the ball from crossing the goal line. 

Senior keeper Patrick O’Day blocks out a high shot at the top of the goal. (Jayce Haun)

With 7:42 left in the game, Akil Dickerson scored on a break down the left side of the field and aimed where O’Day couldn’t reach, scoring John Burroughs’ second goal of the game. Liberty earned another penalty kick shortly after this goal was scored, with senior Kaden Marsh at the line ready to put one past the John Burroughs’ goalie. Much like Valenti’s attempted goal, Marsh’s initial shot got blocked by the keeper, but he scored on the rebound off of the goalie’s hands. The referee took this goal for the Eagles away as well, for the same reason as the first one, the goalie had possession of the ball. 

“I think this season was one to remember. We had an amazing season and won districts,” Sinclair said. “Beating St. Dominic for the first time and winning two tournaments is also an achievement.”

The Eagles ended their season with an outstanding record of 17-6-2 and went farther than any other team in their program has before. Even if they didn’t earn the state title this year, they earned the second district title for their program and had a season no one had seen before here at Liberty.