Posted: Saturday, 10 November 2012 5:04PM

Craig's two goals buoy Catholic to Final Four

Springfield, Mo. (  -- Springfield Catholic is heading back the Class 1 Final Four again after getting two first-half goals from senior Evan Craig on the way to a 3-0 win over Sacred Heart.

Tom Guinn, Catholic’s second-year head coach, did not figure two first-half goals into the game plan having to go against the wind for the first 40 minutes.

"It is funny how that works. Our game plan was to get through the first half. Maintain and keep the ball at our feet and get out of the half 0-0 and we get the two goals," Guinn said.

Craig knocked his first goal home in the 27th minute off of an assist from Reilly Harbach. He put the Irish up 2-0 just 12 minutes later off of an assist from Blake Weber.

Those early goals helped alleviate some pressure on the Irish, especially considering how conservative Sacred Heart was playing.

"When you score the first goal it always takes a pretty big amount of pressure off,” Craig said. “They were playing very defensively. They were going to fight, but when they have 10 guys behind the ball there isn't too much danger.”

The second half put the wind at Catholic’s back, but the goals just would not come.

"We thought we would come out in the second half because we were going with the wind and be able to put away more goals, but that is just how soccer works sometimes," Craig said.

Catholic had its chances, but only capitalized once.

"In the second half the ball keeps running off the field and shots are flying over the top," Guinn said.

That third and final goal came with 15 minutes to play by Ryan Randell off of a Blake Bremer assist.

Catholic is now heading back the Final Four, but the mission for the Irish is far from accomplished at this point.

"The message for us from here is no regrets. No letdowns. We need to continue playing the rest of this week like we have the entire season," Guinn said. "At this point we haven't accomplished our goal. Our goal was to repeat as state champions."

Catholic (25-4) will play Bayless (20-7) at 2 p.m. on Friday in Blue Springs, Mo. in the Class 1 State Quarterfinals.

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Glendale 2, Ozark 1

Glendale scored a pair of goals in second half for a comeback win over Ozark on Thursday

Pictures: Fair Grove 2, Clever 1

Fair Grove protected their home court on Thursday be defeating Clever in three sets: 25-14, 19-25, and 25-18.

Pictures: Camdenton 20, Glendale 0

The Camdenton softball team beat Glendale by a score of 20-0 on Thursday.
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