No area high school had ever won a high school state soccer championship until the Springfield Catholic girls team captured consecutive state crowns over the past two seasons. Now, after years of frustration, the Catholic boys team has joined them, becoming the first male team from southwest Missouri to achieve that level of excellence.
At the Class 1 state championship at Blue Springs on Saturday, the Fightin' Irish boys squad completed a perfect 29-0-1 season with a 1-0 victory over Kansas City's Pembroke Hill as the only goal came on a spectacular header by Mitchell Moncada that caught Pembroke off guard in the 79th minute. And while that state title will go down in history as the first-ever for a boys team from our area, it also marked the end of three seasons of the Irish knocking on the door but never getting in...until now. The Irish had made it to the final four in those three previous trips, finishing third once and second twice. In each of the past two years, they'd lost in the state finals to Whitfield. Whitfield didn't make it to the championship this year, and the third time proved to be the charm for Cathoic, who now can boast of being the first school from southwest Missouri to produce both a girls and boys soccer championship.