Saints soccer team remain unbeaten with come-from-behind win at Sacred Heart
With back-to-back shutout wins over Lone Jack last week Tuesday and Summit Christian Academy two nights later and a 3-1 win at Sacred Heart on Monday, the Saint Paul soccer team continued its unbeaten season.
It took a second-half rally, though, for top-ranked Saint Paul to get the job done against the second-ranked Gremlins, with Seth Rodewald leading the way.
"They took it to us early, taking a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute when we left an outside mid(fielder) uncovered making a diagonal run," SPLHS head coach Luther Schmidt said.
It was a struggle in the first 40 minutes.
"The first half, we didn't get too many good opportunities," Schmidt said. "We seemed to be trying to force everything up the middle of the field and pinching ourselves too much."
Then came the adjustments that paid off.
In the fourth minute of the second half, the Gremlins' keeper made the save on a shot by Seth Rodewald, but Eli Cook was in position to put the rebound in the net.
Only four minutes later, the Saints made Sacred Heart play from behind when Knut Hellebust scored from the left side off a pass from Rodewald.
"We struggled for a little bit in the middle of the second half and gave up a couple of opportunities," Schmidt said. "But Harrison Boynton made two big saves to preserve the lead."
The final nail in the Gremlins' coffin came with five minutes to go when Rodewald got behind the defense and beat the keeper.
Boynton made seven saves.
Saint Paul 6, Summit Christian 0
It was the Saints' game from the start as they scored in the first 18 seconds.
The Saints got their first goal "when they misplayed a back pass, Rodewald stole it and found Johnny Lui who chipped it over the goal keeper to put us up 1-0," SPLHS head coach Luther Schmidt said.
But there was a bit of a lull until the Saints scored again.
"It wasn't until the 25th minute (when) we got another when Seth found Eugene Kinyanjui up the left side, and Eugene beat the keeper high and right," Schmidt said.
In the 35th minute, Rodewald increased the lead to 3-0 when Rodewald pounced on a rebound and scored.
Rodewald scored again four minutes deep into the second half, knocking in a pass from Cook.
Rodewald's hat-trick goal came in the 17th minute of the second half as he stole a back pass to the keeper and deposited the ball into the back of the net.
That wasn't enough for Rodewald as he added a fourth goal with 16 minutes left, "scoring off a nice cross from Eugene Kinyanjui," Schmidt said.
The Saints also had some great net-minding.
"Boynton had a fine game in net, notching seven saves, including two where he laid out to get the shutout," Schmidt said.
Schmidt knows Summit Christian is better than the score indicates.
"SCA is a good team," Schmidt said. "We are kind of in their heads right now."
Saint Paul 8, Lone Jack 0
The Saints took control early on when Magnes Nypan scored on a corner kick in the third minute.
Still, it was a bit of work to start getting some distance on the scoreboard,
"We had some early shots but were struggling to put them on goal," Schmidt said.
But then Cook knocked in a rebound in the 18th minute, and Rodewald broke through the defense to score in the 25th minute.
Five minutes later, Rodewald notched his second goal, knocking in a pass from Kinyanjui.
Kinyanjui made it 5-0 in the first half, finishing off a pass from Tanner Lark.
The Saints benefited from a Lone Jack own goal, then Kinyanjui stretched the lead to 7-0 off a pass from Lark.
Lark scored off a free kick from 22 yards out midway through the second half.
Boynton made one save in the first half and Howard Lam two saves in the second half for the combined shutout.
The Saints improved to 15-0. They play at Tolton Catholic on Saturday before playing in the Summit Christian Academy Tournament on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week. The Saints will play Lincoln Prep, KC Lutheran and the host team.