Waterloo was expecting a tough game from the Lindbergh Flyers on Thursday and that’s exactly what the Bulldogs got in the 62nd annual Bob Guelker/CYC Tournament at WWT Soccer Park.
Senior Ben Huels scored from senior Griffin Lenhardt in the 59th minute and the goal held up in Waterloo’s 1-0 victory in the Msgr. Louis Meyer Division.
The victory, however, wasn’t enough to advance the Bulldogs (12-2-1) into the semifinals Friday. Chaminade edged Waterloo for the final spot in the semis based on goal differential.
Both teams were 2-1, but Chaminade finished at plus-four and Waterloo at plus-two. A 3-1 loss to Vianney on Monday proved costly for the Bulldogs.
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Chaminade will play CBC at 6 p.m. Friday. Vianney will meet St. Louis University High at 8. The semifinal winners will meet for the championship at 8 p.m. Saturday.
“This was definitely a feisty game,” Waterloo coach Chad Holden said of the win over Lindbergh (7-5). “You saw two teams knowing they had to win and both really needed a shutout out of it. Overall, I’m definitely pleased with what we did. We played three really good teams in this tournament, which is why we moved to the upper bracket.
“Hopefully, we learned a lot from it.”
The tournament enabled the Bulldogs to play tough competition as they travel down a road that they hope leads to another Class 2A state championship.
Lindbergh certainly tested the Bulldogs, pinning them in on more than one occasion before Waterloo struck on a counterattack. Huels’ goal was his 18th of the season.
“They were letting (Huels) wander around in there a little bit,” Holden said. “We saw that and were like, ‘If Lenhardt can get the ball into the box, we can see something dangerous happening.’ We were able to get it in there and Ben was able to shoot.”
The play started with Lenhardt making a free kick from the middle of the field. Contrary to how it appeared, Huels said he wasn’t Lenhardt’s No. 1 target.
“Griffin said he meant to play it right to Ryan (Stites),” Huels said. “It hit his foot perfectly. It bounced right in the box and I saw an open space. I just turned around and buried it.
“It was a back-and-forth game, foul after foul. We grinded it out and found a way to win. Our defense did a great job.”
The Bulldogs will play at 4:15 p.m. Monday at Mater Dei.
Chaminade 1, O’Fallon 0
Playing their third game in three days, the Panthers had to dig deep for energy that wasn’t always there in a narrow loss to Chaminade.
O’Fallon (6-5-2) yielded the only goal Chaminade needed less than six minutes into the contest and was eliminated from the Msgr. Louis Meyer Division.
“Three games in three days against three quality opponents,” said Panthers coach Jason Turkington, whose team tied Vianney 1-1 and defeated St. Mary’s 3-1 in its first two games of the tournament. “We’re still missing some guys coming back from injuries and a couple of other things. They’ll be back Monday. We’re going to be fine.
“Not advancing isn’t the end of the world, because that would have been four games in four nights. We’re learning as we go. Any time you lose to Chaminade 1-0 and you have a very good half, you take that and go from there.”
Senior midfielder Jack Layton scored in the middle of the box for Chaminade (5-7) at 5 minutes, 53 seconds, hammering in a cross from deep in the right corner by junior midfielder Kyle Thurmann. O’Fallon senior goalkeeper Joe Guithues had no chance to make the save.
The Red Devils’ record is deceiving since their losses have all been to quality opponents St. Louis University High, Edwardsville, CBC, Kirkwood, Summit, Vianney and Lindbergh.
“Historically, they’re one of the top programs in (St. Louis),” Turkington said. “Those (Metro Catholic Conference) schools can play. It’s not like they’re losing to teams that can’t play. Their losses are to Vianney and CBC and SLUH. They played well the first half, we played well the second half. They got one to slide in and we didn’t.”
O’Fallon’s offense mounted no pressure on the Red Devils in the first half, but the Panthers played markedly better in the final 40 minutes despite having nothing to show for it.
“We changed a couple of things and it worked,” Turkington said. “We kind of squeezed them pretty good, but then they dropped guys back. It was tough to crack that back line, and I think a lot of it was fatigue. We were low in numbers. We had a couple of guys run out of gas. But the effort in the second half was great. We’re in a good place right now.”
O’Fallon resumes its schedule at 6:30 p.m. Monday against visiting Marion.
Ladue 2, Triad 0
Ladue (16-0) got second-half goals from seniors Hans Chan and Arthur Gibert and defeated Triad in the Msgr. Larry Walsh Division.
Triad (7-7) finished 1-2 in the tournament, defeating Alton Marquette and also losing to Fort Zumwalt North.
The Knights will be back in action at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday at Mascoutah.