Union’s dream of a state championship in girls soccer came to an end Friday at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City.
Defending Class 3 state champion Rockwood Summit shut out Union in the Class 3 semifinals, 2-0.
“Union still has the ability to do better than we’ve ever done in history,” Fennessey said. “If we win tomorrow, it’s still the best season Union has ever had. There’s a lot to play for. We can draw from our experience and make the most of it.”
Rockwood Summit (19-3-3) got two goals from Anna Walsh in the second half to hand Union (26-2-1) its second defeat of the season.
Rockwood Summit moved on to play St. Dominic for the championship Saturday while Union advanced to Saturday’s third-place game.
For the first half, the game was even with both teams generating offense. Union was able to get into the Rockwood Summit end for scoring chances, but the Lady Falcons were able to control much of the possession.
“We thought if we could score, it would be a hustle play deep down into a corner,” Fennessey said. “That’s where we had success in the first half. We just couldn’t make it happen in the second half. Their defense is stout and they did a good job of keeping possession and making us work to get the ball back. It just didn’t happen.”
A foul outside the box in the 48th minute led to the first goal. Anna Walsh found a hole in the four-player wall to curl a shot inside the near post on the left side to give Rockwood Summit the lead.
“We just had to keep playing,” Fennessey said. “I think our girls did a good job of continuing to play and play their style. Rockwood Summit did well at drawing fouls against us. We knew they were strong at drawing fouls coming into the game. They continued to do what they do.”
At the 55:06 mark of the second half, Walsh stepped up again. A foul in the box led to a penalty kick and Walsh was able to put the ball to the right as Union goalkeeper Hannah Olive dove the other way.
“In my opinion, that girl was not in the box,” Fennessey said. “She fell into the box. That changes the game. It was 1-0 and you put the second goal in. That changes the game. It was tough for us to swallow that one and come back. To get two against a team like Rockwood Summit is a tall order. We switched some things up and gave it our best shot, but it just wasn’t enough today.”
Playing with a lead suited the Lady Falcons’ style as Rockwood Summit continued to hold possession and attempt to frustrate Union.
Rockwood Summit outshot Union for the game, 11-2. Olive made nine saves for the contest with six in the first half and three in the second.
Katelyn Nash saved both Union shots on goal, one in each half.
Rockwood Summit attempted eight shots each half. Union had six shots in the first half and three in the second.
Union attempted nine shots, but only two went on goal. Erika Toelke and Emma Cloud tested Nash.
Emily Gaebe and Hailey Cloud had two shots off target. Also attempting shots were Katelyn Hobson, Ella Keltner and Gigi Gore.
Fennessey praised the defense.
“I would put our defensive line up against anybody,” Fennessey said. “Maddie Helling and Emma Cloud in the back did fantastic. Erika Toelke had a nice game. Ella Keltner played a good game. It took two really dynamic plays for them to score. During open play, our defense is just as strong as anybody in the state and that’s what we’ve relied up to get us this far.”
Rockwood Summit put 11 of its 16 shots on target with Walsh putting all five of her shots on net and scoring on two of them.
Riley Vancardo, Lauren Tyson, Sara Lawler, Lillian Schnieders, Julia Martens and Colleen Malone had one shot on goal apiece.
Schnieders had two shots go wide and Rylie Morris also had a shot miss.
Rockwood Summit attempted all three corner kicks in the game, two in the first half and once in the second half.
Union was whistled for 18 fouls, nine in each half. Rockwood Summit had 10 total fouls with five in each half.