Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Howell North Comes Up Short in Game for Class 4a Crown

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Howell North Comes Up Short in Game for Class 4a Crown

Article excerpt

The final score - Lindbergh 4, Francis Howell North 0 - could not have been more misleading.

"It wasn't a 4-0 game," Howell North coach Vince Nowak said after his Knights fell to the Flyers in the Class 4A soccer title match at St. Louis Soccer Park Saturday afternoon. "For most of the game, we were right there. But unfortunately, we let down a little at the end and Lindbergh was able to pull away.

"The game is 80 minutes and you have to play the full 80 minutes. After the second goal, we let down and Lindbergh took advantage."

Nowak continued: "But we're not making any excuses. Lindbergh's a very good team, one of the best . . . . No, they're state champions; they're the best team we played this season.

"Both teams had some chances today; they made the most of their's and we didn't - that's the bottom line."

Lindbergh (26-4-1) got a four-goal performance from John Maurer, a shutout from Jess Haddix and played a solid, all-around game to secure its first state soccer title.

"I've waited 25 years for this and believe me, this makes it all worthwhile," Lindbergh coach Glen Mehrhoff said. "This is a special group and they just kept pushing themselves. The school was behind us 100 percent and our players went out and did the job today.

"Howell North's a great team, and they gave us a great game. But in the end, I think we just had too much offense."

The Knights, who finished 24-7-2, hung tough through 73 or so minutes Saturday. But Maurer, who converted a penalty kick 10 minutes into the second half, added three late goals for the 4-0 final.

"It was a 50-50 game most of the way," Maurer said. "When we got the first goal, the odds went in our favor and the second one put us over the top. We felt comfortable with the 2-0 lead and it forced Howell (North) to push up more. That's how I got the last two goals."

Added Nowak: "We wanted to do certain things today and we just didn't get it done. …

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