Catholic soccer falls in Class 1 state semifinal

Catholic soccer falls in Class 1 state semifinal


Catholic soccer falls in Class 1 state semifinal



Ben Timson has seen this before.

The Springfield Catholic girls soccer coach remembers vividly when the Lady Irish made their first state semifinal in 2009 and were overwhelmed with the moment. They took third that year but returned the next two seasons and won state championships.

Timson is hoping history repeats itself.

The young Lady Irish were overwhelmed 4-0 by defending state champion St. Pius X in a Class 1 semifinal on Friday at Blue Springs South High School.

St. Pius (23-3) advanced to the state title game at noon on Saturday. The Lancers will play the winner of the Duchesne-O’Hara semifinal.

Springfield Catholic (14-11-1) will play for third place at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Blue Springs South.

The Lady Irish couldn’t muster much of an attack against St. Pius. The Lancers got on the board five minutes in when Kirsten Nulsen knocked in a rocket of a shot from about 25 yards away. They continued to pound away at Springfield Catholic’s back line, but it held.

Striker Allie Banasik had the best chance for the Lady Irish. She raced in on a break-away with slightly more than 10 minutes to play in the half. Banasik got a step on her defender and blasted a shot from just inside the box.

However, St. Pius goalkeeper Holly Magre made a diving stop to deflect the ball, and her defense was there to clean up the rebound.

“That’s huge. Obviously when she hit it I thought it could go,” Timson said. “If we get 1-1 with 12 to play in the first half our girls are sky high. It didn’t happen and we had a bit of a let down.”

Two minutes after the dramatic save, the Lancers scored again. Forward Ashley Marks knocked in her 25th goal on the season when she was able to poke home the rebound from Haylee Eastridge’s blast.

“That hurt,” Timson said.

The second half was a show of force by St. Pius. The Lancers got two more goals as Marks and Eastridge both found the back of the net. They controlled the ball and let the Lady Irish get past midfield only a handful of times.

“Everything was pretty much going right for us. We were getting great chances and got lucky a couple of times,” Marks said.

Timson said he thinks the Lady Irish will be better for this experience.

“We were Pius (in 2010),” he said. “We’re going to be pretty much the same team the next few years. Hopefully they’ll learn a lot from this.”


More USA TODAY High School Sports