Miracle On Turf: Wentzville Lacrosse Beats Kirkwood To Win State Championship

Wentzville triumphed over the top-seeded side in overtime after a hard-fought contest


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The Wentzville lacrosse team poses for a picture with their Show-Me Cup trophy.

Gavin Block, Reporter

For the first time in their history, the Wentzville boys lacrosse team competed in the MSLA Show-Me Cup Final on Friday, May 27, at Lindenwood University’s Hunter Stadium. After an excellent road to the final, they came up against the Kirkwood Pioneers, who were the No. 1 seed in the tournament. The game concluded with an exhilarating 12-11 victory in overtime for Wentzville.

The sky was slightly overcast for the first half of the match, but the sun began to break through during the latter half.

Both Wentzville and Kirkwood had sizeable student sections; however, Wentzville visibly had the larger and more energetic crowd.

Kirkwood opened the scoring with a little over seven minutes left in the first twelve-minute quarter, though this was later countered with a Wentzville goal by senior midfielder Drew Chiodini. The Ville then took the lead with 3:11 remaining via a goal by junior attackman Jake Cordes. Kirkwood reciprocated by scoring just 20 seconds later, leaving it at 2-2 as the first quarter came to a close.

At 45 seconds into the second quarter, the Pioneers once again put themselves in the lead. With a man down, the Wentzville team remained steadfast and equalized about three minutes later through sophomore midfielder Hagen Walch. Chiodini gave Wentzville the lead with his second goal of the game with 7:24 left to play. Kirkwood responded with a jump shot goal two minutes afterward. This was followed by Cordes giving Wentzville the advantage once more as well as two Kirkwood goals, bringing the tally to 6-5 in the Pioneers’ favor by the end of the first half.

The Wentzville team discusses strategies during halftime. (Gavin Block)

The first half demonstrated the even control of both squads along with Wentzville’s resilience and stability, which would only be tested further in the subsequent half.

After a 10-minute break, the third quarter of the match commenced. The first four and a half minutes involved a series of counterattacks and excitement, which was seemingly relieved by a goal from Wentzville senior midfielder Nate Hauk. This was disallowed by the referees, as Hauk was in the goalie crease. Kirkwood promptly started an attack down the field in an attempt to catch Wentzville off guard. They succeeded in this effort, and Wentzville was now two points behind after believing they had tied it. Walch revitalized his side with a brilliant solo goal shortly thereafter. The two-point difference was brought back following a Kirkwood player’s blinding goal with 4:51 remaining. In the final moments of the third quarter, the blue-and-whites stunningly came back with three goals from Chiodini, Cordes and Walch; the third was scored with less than one second left on the clock. The Ville would go into the fourth quarter leading 9-8.

With 8:56 to play in the final quarter, the Pioneers leveled the score for the seventh tie of the match. They then put themselves on top after a quick breakaway with a little under seven minutes remaining. As time was running out for Wentzville, so was their hope. This was until sophomore midfielder Andrew Dundore got hold of the ball and squared the score with 2:43 left on the clock. Just a minute later, senior midfielder Brock Pleis gave his team the advantage over Kirkwood with a long-range shot. As it seemed that regular time would end with a victory for Wentzville, the Pioneers managed to net a goal with exactly one minute remaining. This brought the scoreline to 11-11, and the half would eventually end with this count. As a result, the game would go into sudden-death overtime.

Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” played during the intermission, which made the atmosphere even tenser and created high levels of anticipation.

Wentzville goalkeeper Andrew Stapf looks for a teammate to pass to. (Light Scout Images)

The period of extra time began with four minutes to play. The majority of it had a fair amount of pauses, but it would become more fluid as the final minute neared. With about 45 seconds left, Wentzville lost possession and Kirkwood started running toward their opponent’s goal. The Pioneers took a shot, but this was expertly stopped by senior goalkeeper Andrew Stapf, who then launched the ball down the field. It was picked up by Dundore, only being accompanied by two defenders. He passed to Cordes running on the left side, who scored the golden goal with 21.3 seconds left. This sent the Wentzville players, crew and fans into a state of elation and pandemonium, with many people from the student section running onto the field and celebrating with the squad.

Wentzville had now secured the Show-Me Cup Championship, their first-ever state title. Stapf was named the player of the game on account of his 25 saves and overall outstanding work as the Wentzville goalkeeper. After the postgame handshake line, the team was shortly presented with the Show-Me Cup trophy. 

Having reached the feat of becoming state champions, the Wentzville Lacrosse Club will only be looking to grow bigger and stronger in the coming years.