Through a winter night chill at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, De Smet Jesuit High School sweated out two overtimes and a lengthy shootout to win the Missouri Class 4 boys high school soccer championship 1-0.
In the 13th round of shootouts vs. Lee’s Summit, De Smet Jesuit goalie Connor Mulvaney stopped the last shot, ensuring a victory after his teammate Henry Lawlor made the previous shot, which turned out to be the winning goal. Pandemonium ensued, as De Smet players, then fans, rushed to Lawlor and mobbed each other.
Lawlor, who missed on his first shootout attempt, said he saw the goalie diving in previous shots. He took advantage of that knowledge to find the back of the net. “We’ve worked so hard since June,” he said.
The team started the season strong with seven wins and a tie, then hit a rough patch, losing four of five games. “We bounced back like the team we are, we bounced back from a lot of games this season and we continued to do that tonight,” said Lawlor, a senior midfielder.
Tyler Fahland, also senior midfielder, said the team overcame adversity when injuries occurred to key players. “We all pushed through and came together as a team.”
Josh Klein, the De Smet coach, said he begins the season telling the players they’ll be rewarded by putting in hard work from the start. “That was the message through the overtimes, through the PKs (shootout), stick with it, grind through, put the work in, you’ll be rewarded for it,” he said.
One of the words for the year was “redemption,” Klein said, with individual efforts making up for any shortcomings from last season when De Smet lost in the state finals 1-0 to Christian Brothers College High School.
Klein said the team attends Mass together every week and prays before every half. “I remind the boys that they can be good athletes on the field, but they have to be good citizens. That’s one of the great things about De Smet.”
Lawlor said his faith means a lot to him. He writes the date of his grandfather’s death on tape on his wrist before every game. “I know he’s watching over me,” he said.
De Smet won five state championships, in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997 and 2011.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified De Smet's opponent. The Review regrets the error.