While the revenge factor is gone, the Washington soccer Blue Jays still will play on.
The defending Class 4 State Champion Rockwood Summit, which Washington would have played in the sectional round Tuesday had Summit won its district championship Thursday, was upset 2-1 in penalty kicks by second-seeded Webster Groves (14-5-4). The contest came down to a sixth penalty kick before Webster Groves emerged with the win. Washington advanced through its district with a 2-1 victory against Pacific the previous night.
The sectional will be hosted by Webster Groves, likely at Selma Field, Tuesday. Game time had not been announced as of press time.
The Blue Jays were eliminated by Summit in the sectional round a year ago by a 5-0 score, a result the team was eager to improve on.
“It’s been an internal goal since November of last year once we lost to them,” Head Coach Derek Schriewer said of a return to the state playoffs and what was a potential rematch with the 2016 state champions after the Jays’ victory Wednesday. “I think these kids, their whole mindset and philosophy was to get back to this point. We didn’t want to talk about it or even really think about that game too much this week. We got to the point where we are thinking about each game and the game at hand and taking care of the task that is at hand. That’s what we did this week and now we get five days to think about that game and the joy that it’s going to bring everyone. To be back there and try to avenge the 5-0 and see if we can get our own victory out of it. It’s been a special year, so I’m not ruling it out from these kids.”
Schriewer said after finding out their opponent that it would change nothing about Washington’s motivation, the only differences coming in tactical preparation for a different style of opponent.
Regardless of the opponent, the Blue Jays are determined to have a more prolonged experience in this postseason.
“We ain’t backing down this year,” Washington junior defender Jeremiah Collins said.
The Blue Jays and Statesmen share two common opponents this season. Webster Groves defeated both Vianney and Priory by 1-0 scores during the regular season. Washington lost to both teams during the St. Dominic Fastlane Super Cup Tournament, 2-0 against Priory and 3-1 against Vianney.
However, that was early in the season, before the Blue Jays got on a roll following a third-place finish at the Hillsboro tournament. Washington has won 17 of its last 19 games. That stretch included a 5-4 win against District 7 Champion Ft. Zumwalt South.
Meanwhile, Webster Groves has won its last four games, three by shutout.
Statesmen goalkeeper Sam Gomez has been in the net for nine shutouts this season, six solos. He gives up an average of 0.94 goals per game and has a save percentage of 78.5.
By comparison, Washington keeper Christian Longseth has an 88.6 save percentage and allows 1.1 goals per game on average. Ottmar Escalante, who has also logged a lot of games in the net for the Jays this season and could be called upon in this contest has a 87.4 save percentage. Both Jays keepers have been in the net for eight shutouts this season, three shared between them and each with five solos.
Jordan Andrews has been the leading scorer for the Statesmen this season with 13 goals and eight assists. A total of 13 different players have scored for Webster Groves this season, but Andrews is the only one to have reached double digits.
The Blue Jays boast the more potent offense, netting 3.1 goals per game this season. Washington has gotten scores from 14 different players and have four different scoring threats to have more than 10 goals — Conlan Jarvis (28), Collins (17), Zach Subke (12) and Marcus Berariu (10).