NEOSHO, MO – It’s a feeling they never wanted to suffer again.
Last year, the Glendale Falcon’s soccer season ended with a 2-1 loss to Republic. The Tigers celebrated their Final Four clincher on Glendale’s field.
Saturday afternoon, the Falcons reaching the state quarterfinals again. And when the final siren went off Glendale kept their composure, shook hands with Neosho, and then jumped in a tight huddle their berth to State.
“It’s a great feeling,” senior Ryan Feeney said, “all the years through Glendale, it’s been like a family thing; we’re playing for each other.”
Feeney was the star helping Glendale reach the quarters. His pair of headers against Rolla were the only goals in the Falcons 2-0 win in the sectional round on Tuesday.
Saturday, Feeney was at it again.
Eight minutes into the scoreless match, junior Grant Compere set a corner kick in motion. Feeney (6’1”) and Ryan Long (6’3”) were in front of goalkeeper as decoys. Senior Max Elmer planted himself just off the far post and received a perfect pass from Compere he chipped as a center pass to Feeney for the game’s first goal.
“That’s been our specialty early,” Elmer said, “and we took it. I saw an opportunity early, and I took it. And Ryan Feeney found a goal”
Two minutes Feeney and Elmer were at it again.
After another Compere corner was cleared, Elmer punched the ball back on goal where Feeney slammed the rebound home for his second goal and a 2-0 Glendale lead.
“I knew we wanted to put them under constant pressure,” head coach Jeff Rogers said, “and we were able to do that.”
In the 15th minute, Glendale made it 3-0 – and again, Feeney was involved.
“He has that big throw,” Rogers admired.
Feeney’s throw-in reached the tender’s box, where Long deflected it in for his goal. Two goals and an assist for Feeney in the first 15-minutes of the quarterfinal.
Neosho would make it 3-1, but then it was Compere’s time to shine again.
A free kick from 31-yards out was striked perfectly, sailing just over the leaping Wildcat keeper’s arms and then just under the crossbar to put Glendale up 4-1.
An Elmer goal and a Neosho own goal, the Falcons subbed out their starters – coasting to the 6-2 quarterfinal win.
“We have 18 seniors this year,” Feeney said, “so we all compete and play for each other.” It’s a great feeling to do it, and our class has never been able to experience it so our last year we’re making it good
Glendale improves to 20-7, and is making its sixth trip to the state final four. They will face Webster Groves on Friday afternoon in Fenton. The Statesmen are 16-11-1 on the season.
“I tell the kids,” Rogers said, “besides my family, there’s no other place I’d rather than with them.”