St. Louis boys soccer wins fourth straight state title

By By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

The St. Louis Saints became the first school in the state to win four consecutive soccer titles with a 3-0 win over Beau Chene

in the Division II championship game Saturday at Tad Gormley Stadium.

Will Solari scored twice in the first half to give the Saints control of the game. He opened the scoring 6 minutes into the

game, taking a pass on the right wing, dribbling past a defender and drilling the ball into the bottom left corner.

The Saints (20-5-6) controlled the run of play for most of the half, peppering Beau Chene with 15 shots. Just before half

Solari smashed a loose ball into the net to give the Saints a 2-0 lead at the break.

“The first one, Alex (Kjellsten) slid in a perfect pass, everything fell right and I was able to finish,” Solari said. “The

second one, the ball was kind of knocking around after Jon Lorio had a good header that the keeper saved. It bounced to me

and I knocked it in.”

Beau Chene (21-4-5) managed three shots in the first half, spending the majority of the first 40 minutes defending in their

own half of the field.

The Saints continued to apply pressure in the second half with 10 shots but couldn’t get one past Beau Chene keeper Jeremy

Meche until Mac Thompson poked home a loose ball in the 39th minute to cap the scoring.

“We were able to create a lot of opportunities. I just wish we would have finished a little better,” said St. Louis head coach

Jason Oertling. “We kept the ball in front of their goal, which limited their opportunities in front of our goal.

“Winning the ball in the air and shoving it right back up the field kept them away from our goal.”

“It feels awesome to go through four years of high school and get the win all four years,” said Saints keeper Marcus McNamara,

who stopped all four shots he faced. “Everybody doubted this team; we were not supposed to go this far, but all the guys

stepped up and we made it. The guys were dedicated.

“We knew we were being underestimated by everyone so we just did what needed to be done.”

The championship is the 10th in program history.

“I am real proud for the kids,

particularly the seniors, never losing a playoff game in four years is

an incredible feat,”

Oertling said. “Every day this group came to practice knowing they

would have to work hard. There were big shoes to fill from

last year’s group. No matter how tough I was on them, they came

right back to practice the next day and worked just as hard.

“They had confidence in themselves, and that confidence grew throughout the season. We were playing our best ball when we

needed to.”