For the third time in the last four years, the Sacred Heart Gremlin boys’ soccer team is headed toward the Class 1 State Quarterfinals.
On the strength of Tuesday night’s 4-0 Class sectional win over the Crocker Lions at Clover Dell Park, the Gremlins qualified for the Class 1 quarterfinals against Springfield Catholic Saturday in Springfield.
In 2011, the Gremlins won the district and lost 1-0 to Southern Boone County in the sectional round. In 2010, the Gremlins won the district and sectional and lost 1-0 to eventual Class 1 state champion Springfield Catholic 1-0 on a heart-breaking goal with less than five minutes remaining in the state quarterfinals at Clover Dell Park. In 2009, the soccer Gremlins won both the district and sectional titles and lost 1-0 to the St. Pius X Warriors 1-0 on a goal in the first two minutes of the quarterfinal match on a cold, breezy night at Excelsior Springs High School on the artificial turf field.
With the win Tuesday night, this year’ young Gremlin team improved to 17-9 on the season. Catholic, who took on the Gremlins for the second time in the last three years in the state quarterfinal round Saturday, beat Monett 6-0 in the sectionals Tuesday night at Monett, improved to 25-4 on the year.
Jimmie Villalobos scored the first of his two goals off the opening kickoff 16 seconds into the match. He scored again with 8:40 left in the first half to give Sacred Heart a 2-0 halftime lead.
Brandon Cooper made it 3-0 with 22: 35 left in the game, assisted by Villalobos. Cooper tacked on an unassisted goal with 19:38 left in the game to close out the scoring.
Crocker had 12 shots, just seven of those on goal. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.