Chillicothe, 7-1 loser to KC team in 2014 state match, hosts Warriors tonight at 6 p.m.
By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — It certainly won’t be easy, but the Chillicothe High School soccer Hornets will have a chance to balance the books with an old account tonight.
The Class 2 District 15 champion Hornets will host future fellow Midland Empire Conference foe Kansas City: St. Pius X – the District 16 king – in the opening round of the state tournament this evening on Bob Fairchild Field at Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium II. Match time is slated for 6 p.m.
Chillicothe enters the action with a 12-9-1 record, its most-recent outing having been its 1-0 district-title win over Kirksville at Cameron last Thursday. CHS has won its last three matches by shutout.
St. Pius X takes the pitch with a 13-9-2 record, fresh from a hard-fought 3-2 verdict over top-seeded Maryville Saturday in the District 16 finale.
Weather conditions for the action will be challenging for players and fans alike.
In addition to much-cooler temperatures than recently the norm – the mercury at kickoff is expected to be just below 50 degrees, there is expected to be a significant northwest wind which will aid the team trying to score into the south goal in each half and be a detriment to the club going north offensively. There is a chance the wind will taper off some after sundown as the match progresses, but still could be a factor for play.
The Warriors’ victory over Maryville Saturday bested a squad Chillicothe lost to by 1-0 and 5-0 scores during the regular season.
There are four other common foes: Chillicothe lost to Smithville 2-1, while SPX tied it 1-1. CHS downed St. Joseph: Benton 4-1 and 3-0 and St. Pius X romped past BHS 10-3 last week in district play. Each side lost to Bishop LeBlond – the Hornets 3-0 and SPX 3-1. The KC team also bested Warrensburg twice – 6-0 and 2-1, while the Hornets lost to it 3-0.
In St. Pius X’s win over Maryville, Kaine Beach scored the unassisted winning goal in the 71st minute. Earlier goals were by Nathan Dunn and Miguel Cobos. Those three goals were the first ones MHS had allowed in seven matches.
Historically, the two programs have squared off on the pitch three previous times.
Chillicothe, whose program began in 2007, won their first clash, prevailing 2-1 in a 2012 district-tournament match with what some consider its best-ever team.
A year later, the Hornets and Warriors met in the district tourney again, this time in the finals after CHS had bested St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond in a tough, emotional semifinals battle. This time, the Kansas City Catholic school had the answers for a 3-1 triumph which again denied Chillicothe a district title.
The following year, Chillicothe finally broke through at the district level, winning 11-1 and 4-1 to earn its first-ever championship and trip to state.
Awaiting there was SPX, which overwhelmed them over the final 55 minutes to win 7-1 on a hat trick by forward Charlie Parrish and two goals and an assist each by Trevor Cissell and Juan Chavez.
The first of Parrish’s three goals came in the 15th minute, but less than a half-minute later a battle in the penalty area for control of a CHS free kick led to the ball finding the foot of Hornets standout Jon Kline, who fired it into the vacant net for the CHS-record 58th and final goal of his prep career.
Parrish broke the 1-1 tie about nine minutes later and a rare indirect free kick from about 10 yards away from the Hornets’ goal 90 seconds later turned into Cissell’s first goal of the day, giving St. Pius X a 3-1 halftime lead. Chillicothe never recovered.
Chillicothe has a handful of now-seniors who were in uniform as freshmen for that 2014 state match. St. Pius X had only one freshman – Zachary Cissell – on its squad.