In the upcoming Class 4 soccer sectional game, the Chaminade Red Devils won’t have to pour over scouting reports. They know their opponent well.
Chaminade (17-2-2) meets fellow Metro Catholic Conference rival Vianney (20-7-1). The sectional game will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Vianney.
“We’re looking forward to a great game,” Chaminade coach Mike Gauvain said. “They’ve got a really good team. They have some dangerous players. We’ll have to be ready. We’ve had good preparation getting ready for it.”
The two teams met in the regular season. Chaminade beat Vianney 3-2 on Sept. 16.
“That was a long time ago,” Gauvain said. “It was a good game. They scored early. We got two goals to take the lead. They scored early in the second half to tie it. Then we scored and our keeper Joe Mitchell made about three great saves down the stretch and we won.
“Vianney played really well. We happened to come out on top that time.”
While Gauvain noted it’s “always nice to play at home,” he doesn’t see that being a huge edge for Vianney.
“I’ve been on all sides of the stage,” Gauvain said. “We’ve won on the road before to get to get to the Final Four. You just hope you play well and then you have a chance. We hope to play another good defensive game and get some goals and move on to play again. I’ll be a difficult task.”
The winner of the sectional will meet the winner of the Springfield Kickapoo and Nixa game on Nov. 4.
To reach the quarterfinals, Gauvain said the Red Devils must play hard.
“We’ve got to knuckle down and stick in there and hang in there and battle,” Gauvain said. “They’re big and strong and fast. We’ll have to play good defense.”
The Red Devils are coming off winning the District 8 championship over St. Louis University High.
“We were playing good going into the district,” Gauvain said. “I like what we were doing. We’re getting chances to win and we’re winning. We’re scoring goals.”
Chaminade opened with a 5-0 win over Ritenour.
“We didn’t want to overlook them,” Gauvain said. “They’ve had one the best years they’ve had in a long, long time. They were missing a couple of their better kids that night. We came out and got a goal in first half and we needed that. We got one early in second half and took off from there.
“We did what we needed to do to go on.”
In facing SLUH on their home field, the Red Devils were meeting a Junior Billikens team that beat them 1-0 in the season opener.
“We have a good rivalry with SLUH,” Gauvain said.
The Red Devils claimed the district crown with a 1-0 win.
“We hadn’t beaten them for five games in a row,” Gauvain said. “That’s the last two district finals and three in the regular season. So, it’s nice to finally win one. We always have great games with SLUH and this was no exception.”
Junior Joe Reed scored the only goal. Mitchell played well in goal. One of his saves came on a penalty kick.
“Joe made two great saves early and his confidence grew and the team’s confidence grew,” Gauvain said. “It was a scoreless first half.”
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Reed scored in the second half. Zach White had the assist. It was Reed’s team-leading 12th goal of the season.
“That was all we needed,” Gauvain said. “It was just a great goal for Joe. He’s leading our team. He’s always in front of the net. I hope it carries over for it.”
Gauvain acknowledged he was watching the clock after the goal.
“You always do. You don’t want to but you do,” Gauvain said. “We played better after we scored the goal. We clamped down and played better. We really played the last 20 minutes well.”
None of Red Devils has played for a district champion before. Now, they have.
“It was exciting for them, you know,” Gauvain said. “These kids believed they could get it done and they did. We always try to prepare them the best we can.
“This year I guess was our turn. It goes in cycles a little bit. SLUH is one of the best teams in the area. They have just a great team. I felt they were one of the three or four teams that could win the whole tournament. They couldn’t find the net. That’s a great credit to Joe and our defenders.”
It’s a game Gauvain said he won’t forget.
“All our district games are memorable both the wins and the losses,” Gauvain said. “The wins are easier to remember but a lot of people think it’s the other way around. I’ll remember this one for sure.”