Win over undefeated Lafayette puts soccer in state semis

After shutting out Lafayette 1-0 Saturday, the soccer team qualifies for the state final four for the first time since winning state in 2011.

Without any scoring until the final minutes, head coach Josh Klein knew that something positive would come of his team.

“[Penalty kicks were] in my mind,” Klein said, ”but the way that we were playing, and the way that we were pressing against them, I was feeling really good that something was going to happen soon.”

For most of the game, the Lancers and Spartans were back-and-forth, with only a few scoring chances each. However, with three minutes left in regulation, senior Nick Hanson buried a rebound off a corner kick for the 1-0 lead.

“I was super excited for him,” Klein said. “Here’s one of the kids that had worked so hard all game, battling through injuries. And to see him rewarded like that was really, really cool.”

Sporting maroon and lumberjack attire, the students overflowed an entire section in the stands in support of the team. Coach Klein was impressed with the turnout of the fans.

“They have so much to do with it,” Klein said. “I’ll never forget the atmosphere at Lafayette. That’s something that the program loves. It’s something that the school loves and I hope they can keep it going because they make a tremendous difference.”

The soccer team will match up against Nixa (25-1) on Nov. 13 at 4:00 p.m. at the Soccer Park for a shot at the state championship game.

“They’re going to be another tough team,” Klein said. “I think it’s going to come down to, again, passion in our players.”