October 20th, 2010

Mercy Falls Just Short Of State Tourney

Brad Knoop

Staff Writer

Mercy Falls Just Short Of State Tourney
photo by Brad Knoop

Jaguars lose rubber match to Manual 2-1 in title game

Mercy and Manual met for the third time this soccer season, but this match was for the Sixth Region championship, on a crisp and clear night at Holy Cross. The Jaguars fell short to Manual in last week’s district tournament, 3-0, but clipped the Crimsons early in the season, 5-3.

Twelve minutes into the regional championship game, Manual’s Max Zimmer sailed a ball up and straight through the goalposts and the Crimsons took command.  Mercy remained poised despite being under relentless pressure from the Manual offense.  The Jaguars made some dazzling defensive stops to keep the game close in the first half.  Sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Lee jumped and extended her arms into the sky to knock a Manual attempt out of play, fending off one of many Crimson first half shots on goal.

Down 1-0, the Jaguars continued to understand the importance of big defensive plays.  Lee again led the way amid a flurry of shot attempts two minutes into the second half by the Crimsons.  None of them got near the net and Mercy was ready to go on attack.

The Jaguars pushed back at mighty Manual.  The Crimsons have owned Region Six over the past decade, but Mercy was eager to make a statement.  Eighteen minutes into the final half, freshman Cayla Metzmeier was in the right spot, in tight quarters and booted one through for a goal, tying the match at one.

The momentum seemed to shift and Mercy was eyeing the upset.  But with just under 19 minutes to go, Manual’s Casey Whitfield found a crease on the right side and sent one in for the go-ahead goal.

Down 2-1, time became another opponent. 

“You are trying to push the whole team up to get some pressure on their defense,” senior Hannah Konermann said.  “They were trying to keep it on their offensive side.  It becomes very difficult if you can’t push.  You have to keep pushing and hope for a breakaway, but unfortunately for us it just didn’t happen.”

Manual edges Mercy 2-1 for the Sixth Region championship and advance to next week’s state tournament.  The Jaguars finish the season 14-10-1 and are still the only Jefferson County team to beat the Crimsons.  Konermann, who plans to walk-on for the University of Louisville soccer team, said it’s hard to believe the season is finished. 

Said Konermann: “We beat them early on in the season, so we knew we could do it. It just wasn’t enough tonight.”

For video highlights of Tuesday's regional final, visit the "CSN TV" section on the right side of the main page.


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