Lady Jays aiming for history
Saturday, May 25, 2013
It would be special for the Jefferson City Lady Jays to advance to the Class 3 soccer Final Four.
But Lady Jays coach Matt Stacey doesn’t think his team needs to do anything special today to get there.
“We just need to keep playing the way we’ve been playing,” Stacey said as Jefferson City prepares to host the Nixa Lady Eagles in a quarterfinal contest at 5:30 p.m. today at the 179 Soccer Park.
“When you get to the quarterfinals, everybody’s good, you’re playing one of the best teams in the state. We just need to play our game and see what happens.”
That game has been plenty good enough so far this season. Jefferson City (17-3-1, ranked No. 9 in Class 3 by the Missouri High School Soccer Coaches Association) has won nine straight contests and 12 of its last 13, including a 1-0 sectional victory Tuesday night at Blue Springs South.
That was the 11th shutout for Jefferson City, who has allowed just 14 goals this season.
“We’ve been able to defend,” Stacey said. “We’ve played a tough schedule and we’ve been able to shut out a lot of those teams.”
On the offensive side, the Lady Jays are totaling three goals per contest.
“We’ve done a good job of moving the ball quick, moving hard and trying to make threatening runs,” Stacey said. “I’ve never been mad at a player for shooting the ball and we’re going to need to take advantage of our chances (today).”
Nixa (22-3, receiving votes in Class 3 poll), has scored in double-digits in four games this season and is totaling nearly five goals per contest. Nixa advanced to today’s game with a 6-0 blanking of Kickapoo in its sectional Wednesday night.
Defensively, the Lady Eagles are giving up less than a goal per contest and have 12 shutouts.
The Lady Jays are happy today’s game is at home. Jefferson City is 6-0 at the 179 Soccer Park this season.
“We’re excited to get a chance to play here again, especially in a game of this caliber,” Stacey said.
This is the third quarterfinal contest in the history of the Lady Jays’ program. But they’ve never made it to the Final Four.
“It’s in the back of our minds, but we just need to be concerned about playing well (today),” Stacey said. “That’s our focus, Nixa’s our focus and the girls have done a great job of focusing on the one game this season and not looking ahead.
“These girls are determined.”
The Final Four will be played May 31-June 1 in Blue Springs.
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