Despite a dominating second half, St. Louis Priory couldn’t overcome a three-goal deficit and lost 4-3 to Guadalupe Centers Charter to finish second in the Missouri Class 2 high school boys soccer championship.
It was “one of those days,” Priory Coach John Mohrmann said of the game in which two shots bounced off the crossbar. “We had that feeling that if we had five more minutes, we could have equalized. I think they were a little bit back on their heels and starting to feel a little desperate. But they did enough to win.”
Priory fell behind 2-0 at halftime, then 3-0 just after the start of the second half. Charlie Ferrick energized Priory with a goal assisted by Michael Spencer off a free kick just outside the box. But Guadalupe’s David Portillo netted his third goal of the game to put his team ahead 4-1, and it looked like an easy victory for the team from Kansas City. But Priory refused to give up.
Spencer scored twice, one on a penalty kick and another on a free kick.
Guadalupe players’ aggressiveness took an ugly turn for a bit, with a couple of yellow cards handed out. In an instance preceding the referee’s action, a Guadalupe player pushed and elbowed a Priory player after play stopped, but the Rebels player didn't retaliate.
Mohmann praised his opponent’s attackers. “They finished when they had a couple chances. It took us a little while to get in the game. Once we got going, we started to create chances. But we might have dug too little deep a hole.”
He also praised his team for playing their hardest and respecting their opponent. “We fought back, and when the game ends, you congratulate them.”
He talked to the team after the game, then huddled with them to pray. “We always do that before games, even at practices,” Mohrmann said.”We’ve had a few situations this year, one of the guys lost his father, we’ve had some injured players. We always try to keep that perspective, it’s really the most important thing.”
Benjamin Glarner, a senior defender for Priory, said “we did our best coming back here. That really got the guys together. It’s one of those things, you go down a couple goals, and only if you have a really tight team can you do anything coming out of that.”
He called it “an amazing season. I got closer with all the guys. I couldn’t say enough about it.”
The team tries hard to avoid confronting the referees or taking illogical penalties, he said. Prayer is important as a team, and he said “you put it in God’s hands. Unlucky things are going to happen. You got to give it to God.”
Stevn Virtel, a junior midfielder, agreed that the team incorporates prayer well, noting that it was the last thing they did together. He called Priory “a hard-working team. It’s sad that we lost, but it’s the best group of guys ever. We put our heart into it to come back.”
The previous day, Priory defeated John Burroughs 1-0 in two overtimes to reach the finals. Michael Spencer scored on a penalty kick to win the game.
Priory has won three state championships in soccer, in 2005, 2011 and 2017.
De Smet won five state championships, in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997 and 2011.