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Pirates fall 5-1 in quarters
FENTON -- Perryville coach Stacie Sargent stressed to her players before Saturday's Class 1 quarterfinal contest against Notre Dame St. Louis that the Rebels had scored often off corner kicks this season.
Sargent told the Pirates they would have to limit the Rebels' corner kicks and play strong defense when those opportunities arose to be successful.
Still, Perryville allowed the Rebels 10 corner kicks, three of which Notre Dame St. Louis converted in a 5-1 rout over the Pirates at the Anheuser-Busch Center.
"The thing we didn't do a good job with that we talked about was with their corners," Sargent said. "They capitalize on corners. And three of their goals were off of corners. I don't blame my goalie for that. We didn't continue to move with them. ... We knew we didn't want to give them a corner, and instead we gave them 10 today."
Perryville finished its season with a 16-7 record, while Notre Dame St. Louis (17-9-1) advanced to a state semifinal contest Friday.
The Rebels controlled play in the first half, and had a commanding 3-0 lead just 19 minutes, 47 seconds into the contest. All three goals were scored off corner kicks.
Pirates junior Alicia Kueker, who scored her team's lone goal, said Notre Dame St. Louis was the best program her team faced this season.
"They're hands down the [best]," Kueker said. "Every single player on their team had amazing skills."
Rebels senior Michelle Dimza scored the first two goals of the game. Her first came 2:20 into the contest, putting it past Pirates freshman goalie Natalie Bauwens.
"I jut poked it through," Dimza said. "It went off Robyn Meesey's leg, and I just ran through back post and got it past the goalie.
"We needed to come out with speed because [Perryville] was going to be a fast team and they wanted to win, obviously, as much as we did. It was nice to have some breathing room from the beginning. But we knew we could never let down."
Dimza scored again with 21:06 remaining in the first.
"She's a great player," Kueker said of Dimza. "She got to every ball. She did what she needed to do."
The Rebels increased their lead to 3-0 less than one minute later with a goal from Kristin Wahl. Ariel Hoeffken added another with 9:31 remaining in the first to make 4-0.
"We got jumbled the entire time on defense because we didn't speak to each other," Sargent said. "In the first half, we didn't treat each other the way we needed to as teammates."
Perryville had some chances in the first half, including a shot by Kendra Schilli on a breakaway that went wide.
The score remained 4-0 heading into halftime.
Perryville began the game with four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards. Sargent switched to four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards in the second half because one of her forwards, Ava Johnson, still was not feeling 100 percent after hurting herself this past week.
"She was hurting and she played hurt all day today," Sargent said. "We knew they were going to bring runners. And we didn't think going to the 4-4-2 would hurt us offensively in a sense that we'd have a midfielder coming through off the ball."
Notre Dame St. Louis scored a little less than four minutes into the second half to lead 5-0.
Perryville's lone goal came when Kueker scored with 19:37 left in the contest. She hustled for a ball and got past the Rebels' goalie, who came too far out of the net.
"I just saw the opening," Kueker said. "I just kind of dribbled past her. I thought the goalie was going to pick it up, and she just stayed right there and it kind of lifted us up for like five minutes, but that was pretty much it."
Schilli said Notre Dame St. Louis was so potent because of its depth.
"We can look at the positive side of today," Schilli said. "We made history at our school. We're the [only] team that's ever got this far. I guess it just caught us at a surprise that there are teams out there really good. I won't take it away from Notre Dame. They had amazing passing. They had great opportunities to score."
Sargent was more pleased with the way her team played in the second half.
"Although we didn't do some things that we wanted to, the second half we stayed in the ballgame," Sargent said. "We really didn't give anything up the second half."