Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cor Jesu Corps Is Battle-Tested in Getting off to a Fast Start

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cor Jesu Corps Is Battle-Tested in Getting off to a Fast Start

Article excerpt

Dave Gauvain, the girls soccer coach at Cor Jesu Academy, never expected to be 6-1.

"When I looked at my team and at our schedule, I figured there was a chance we'd get off to a slow start," said Gauvain, whose Chargers are ranked fourth in the latest Post-Dispatch coaches poll. "But the girls have really stepped it up this season."

Included in Cor Jesu's early-season triumphs are victories over sixth-ranked Nerinx Hall, Duchesne and Mehlville. The Chargers' lone loss - a 1-0 setback - came against third-ranked Oakville. "This year, it seems like there are a lot of teams that are pretty evenly matched," Gauvain said. "In games against teams like that, it comes down to getting a break and taking advantage of it." The Chargers' rugged early-season schedule continued this week; they defeated fifth-ranked Rockwood Summit 4-3 Tuesday. They were to play Rosati-Kain on Thursday night before facing Notre Dame on Saturday. "I think it's important that our players are tested, and I think they enjoy the challenge of facing the other top teams in the area," Gauvain said. "If you're going to do anything in the postseason, you're going to have to beat some very good teams. And I think it helps to see as many of those teams as possible during the regular season." The Chargers, who lost to Incarnate Word in the 1993 state championship match, have been eliminated in the district finals by Nerinx Hall the past two seasons. Last year, Cor Jesu finished 17-3-1. "We had eight seniors on that team, and I think there was a tendency for the younger players to sit back and wait for the seniors to make things happen," Gauvain said. "And at times, that just didn't happen. We miss the seniors, but I think their graduation has forced all of the girls to step up and take charge. We're playing as a team and we're getting some great results." The Chargers are playing exceptional defense. They've posted five shutouts and have allowed only five goals all season before Thursday's game. Freshman Liz Hendel and sophomore Gina LoBello have shared time in goal, with third-year starter Shay Unterreiner and senior Becky Brunner anchoring the center of the defense. …

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