For the St. Francis Borgia Regional soccer Lady Knights, the most important thing was the result.
Playing in the opening round of the Class 2 District 8 Tournament in Owensville, the top-seeded Lady Knights (6-16) defeated fourth-seeded Sullivan (5-12), 6-1.
“It was a good team win,” Borgia Head Coach Mackenzie Haddox said. “They focused a lot on connecting passes and moving off the ball. They came out with a lot of focus.”
The Lady Knights will take on second-seeded St. Clair (14-7-1), a 3-0 winner over third-seeded Owensville in the other semifinal, Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Besides the lure of the district championship plaque, the winner also gets a home game Saturday against the District 7 Tournament, which started Monday at O’Fallon Christian. The host team, also the top seed, defeated Winfield, 9-1.
The other game, between second-seeded St. Charles West and St. Charles Lutheran had to be postponed due to weather. It will be played Tuesday. St. Charles West is the defending champion.
Monday’s game at Owensville was played in segments. With the same stormy weather which forced the Class 3 State Golf Championships in Camdenton to be postponed pushing east, the game started with a looming weather threat.
Borgia got the opening goal in the fifth minute on a goal from Hannah Herbst.
In the 10th minute, the Lady Knights doubled the lead on a Cailey Foss goal.
Kara Voss made it 3-0 with a goal in the 18th minute.
Borgia struggled at times with the offsides trap, but was able to break through for chances to take a comfortable lead.
“I think both teams played well defensively,” Haddox said. “They were playing the offsides trap and they did a phenomenal job with it. They messed with us the entire game. You’ve got to give them credit for how they prepared.”
And then the weather hit. With just over 10 minutes left in the first half, the officials spotted a storm quickly approaching from the northwest. The stadium was emptied just in time as a storm struck with heavy rain and lightning.
After that line of rain cleared, the teams went back out and resumed with the final 10 minutes of the half. And it went Sullivan’s way.
Sullivan’s Caitlin Pohlman was pulled down in the box just over two minutes after the restart, colliding with goalkeeper Abby Mueller and defender Abby Matt for a penalty kick.
“It was a hard defensive play and he (the referee) decided to award a penalty kick,” Haddox said. “It is what it is. We got one later on.”
Pohlman finished off the play with a penalty kick shot into the left side of the net, cutting Borgia’s advantage to 3-1 in the 32nd minute.
“The delay in the middle of the game threw us for a loop,” Haddox said. “We came back out the last 10 minutes not as focused as we had started the game. After halftime, I think they got back into it.”
The half ended at 3-1, and after an abbreviated break, the game restarted as the officials wanted to get the game in before more weather hit.
In the second half, Borgia went back to work and needed eight minutes to extend the lead on Herbst’s second goal of the game.
The 4-1 lead held until just before the hour mark. Sullivan was called for a foul in the box and Anya Castelli stepped up to deliver a penalty kick goal to make it 5-1.
With 17:17 to play, Ella Riegel scored Borgia’s final goal of the night. The Lady Knights pressured after that, but didn’t add any more goals.
Lauren Hoffman made 14 saves in goal for the Lady Eagles.
“I thought we moved the ball around well, focused and used both sides of the field,” Haddox said. “When we do those things, we find opportunities in front of the goal.”