Prep soccer playoffs: Belaire upsets St. Louis Catholic in overtime

Published 12:51 am Friday, February 9, 2024

No. 12 Belaire played two men down in overtime but kept enough pressure on No. 5 St. Louis Catholic to stay a step ahead and upset the Saints 4-3 in the Division III regional round on Thursday at Cowgirl Field.

“I think we were a little too tentative in some opportunities. Once we took them we went at them and created more opportunities. They had so much more possession than us, but we felt like we had better chances throughout the game. We just came up a little bit short.

They are a solid team. They pass the ball as well as anybody. At the very end, we got tired and lost two of our starters to an injury during the game. We are not a very deep team, and they were really important to our effort. I know we were playing with more players, but it was two of our key players that would have helped us.”

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The Saints (12-7-7) were looking to repeat last season’s semifinal round and had won 9 of 11 games heading into Thursday’s game.

“We lost a really good team from last year that made it to the semifinals. We were a couple of steps away from getting back there. I think this is only our second loss in the last 12 games, so we finished the season strong after struggling a bit. I can’t say enough about this team.”

Belaire (11-7-5) got its first red card four minutes into the second half, then lost a second player in stoppage time. St. Louis had a golden opportunity shortly after that when Jace Manuel tried to take a pass from Stephen Polito and chip it over the goalkeeper, but his shot was too high.

The Bengals scored the go-ahead goal just a minute into overtime when Erick Lopez knocked one in off the left post.

Angel Lopez gave Belaire a 4-2 lead with a goal four minutes into the second overtime half.

The Saints were energized by sophomore midfielder Harrison Hurt’s goal a minute later. They had one more opportunity just before time expired when they got a free kick on a foul just outside the penalty box but couldn’t come up with the equalizer.

The Saints’ only lead came on a Belaire own goal when a defender attempted to pass the ball back to the goalkeeper in the seventh minute. Lebron Stewart’s goal tied the score at 1-1 in the 28th minute, and Hector Flores gave the Bengals a 2-1 lead in the 58th minute.

The Saints were able to send the game into overtime in the 74th minute Will Flavin’s corner kick set up Evan Rodericks’ game-tying.

Belaire outshot St. Louis 18-5, while Saint goalkeeper Noah Ellender made 12 saves.