St. Vincent dominates familiar foe in rematch of Class 1 title game

Sunday, April 25, 2010 ~ Updated 1:07 AM
St. Vincent senior Liz Brueckner, left, congratulates teammate Abby Lappe after Lappe scored the team's first goal during Friday's game. St. Vincent won a rematch of last year's Class 1 state championship game 3-1.

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- St. Vincent didn't care about Trinity Catholic's struggles this season.

The Indians saw Friday's girls soccer game as an opportunity to validate last year's Class 1 state championship.

"I think we just wanted to prove to everyone that maybe it wasn't a fluke the way we played last year," St. Vincent coach Dustin Wengert said. "Now did we highlight this one on the schedule at the beginning of the year? Sure."

St. Vincent had its way with the team it faced in last year's state title game, posting a 3-1 victory at the Perryville soccer complex.

"I think it meant a little more, especially for the fans," St. Vincent sophomore Abby Lappe said. "We just wanted to make a statement that we're still the top team. When we play the top teams and we win, it shows that we're not going to let anything stop us."

Trinity Catholic's Abby Whittington and St. Vincent's Courtney Heberlie jump for a free ball during the first half of their game Friday in Perryville, Mo. (KRISTIN EBERTS)

The similarities to last year's title game were plentiful. Aside from the obvious jerseys, the score was the same and St. Vincent again jumped out to an early lead. Lappe took a cross from Holly Cissell and put it into the lower right corner less than six minutes into the contest to stake the Indians to a 1-0 lead.

"If we don't go out and make a statement right away in the beginning, then there's always the chance that the game can turn around," St. Vincent senior Liz Brueckner said. "It's always good to go out and get it right away."

Just like last year's meeting, St. Vincent clung to a 1-0 lead at halftime despite numerous chances. Megan Sutterer scored off a pass from Kayla Seabaugh with 25 minutes left in the second half, and Brueckner added an insurance goal with just more than five minutes left. Trinity scored its goal with just more than two minutes left in the contest.

"I knew it was going to be a close game," St. Vincent senior Kristin Mattingly said. "It was last year. The score was pretty much the same. I think we dominated the game pretty well."

Brueckner said she noticed the Titans (4-10) played with additional intensity Friday, but the Indians tried to capitalize on that aggression.

"I think our team is not so hot-headed," she said. "We know how to keep cool and we use that to our advantage. When they get excited, we just remain calm and we come out on top."

The Indians are off to a 12-1 start, with their lone loss a 1-0 setback to Alton, Ill. They wanted to use Friday's game to reaffirm their position atop the Class 1 state rankings.

"We needed to go out and make a statement that we want to get there again," Brueckner said.

Even with their hot start, Wengert said he expects more. He was pleased with Friday's outcome but said his team needs to improve.

"We had an idea that this would be a good determination of what lies ahead for us," he said. "I'm not convinced this team has hit its stride yet, I'm really not. I don't like the way we've played some halves of soccer. Maybe that's me being selfish and maybe that's me being too extreme, but I want perfection out of these girls after what happened last year."

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