FAUCETT, Mo. — Mid-Buchanan survived early pressure from the Barstow offense, eventually notching two goals within six minutes in the first half of the way to a 3-0 win Saturday in the Class 1 quarterfinals.
Following the game, head coach Danielle Beers passed out Final Four shirts to her team before being doused by a Gatorade jug full of ice water.
“That’s the first one, hopefully of many,” she said.
Mid-Buchanan (15-6) dominated for the final 60 minutes of action after Barstow (8-9) put in some early scares.
Going against the wind, the Knights still found ways behind the Dragons backline only for senior center back Alika Coon and junior keeper Mallie Lieffring to deny Barstow of any serious threats.
“Our backline and keeper worked really good together, not just in this game but they really shined against LeBlond,” Beers said. “It was good for them to come together towards the end of the season when we really needed them. They really stepped up and did a great job with communicating.
With 19 minutes left in the first half, sophomore midfielder Liv Moeckli found sophomore forward Emily Parrott at the top of the 18-yard box. She immediately touched it toward the center of the field away from her defender and took a shot, firing a knuckleball over the keeper into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Less than six minutes later, junior forward Jordan Thornton used her speed to get past the defense with two touches before slotting a shot under a charging goalie for a 2-0 lead.
With the wind against them in the second half, the Dragons defense buckled in and kept the Knights from many dangerous chances. Barstow had an attempt on a free kick with 11 minutes remaining, but Lieffring pushed the ball wide and kept the Knights off the board.
With a scrum in the box, Thornton found the goalie off her line and played a ball toward the back post, and Moeckli added an insurance goal with 8:14 to play for the 3-0 lead.
As time expired, the team rushed Lieffring to begin celebrations.
“Pure joy knowing that my team has made it this far,” Parrott said. “Running to them and going into their arms is a big joy in my heart.”
The second-year program advances to play Whitfield in the Class 1 semifinals at noon Friday in Fenton, Missouri.