South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Flyers soccer beats Vianney in title game

Photo by Ellie Marshall
The Lindbergh High School boys soccer team.

It took six rounds, but the Lindbergh Flyers prevailed in the end, thanks to Gio Nicastro’s game-winning penalty kick. The kick gave the Flyers a 4-3 win over St. John Vianney High School in the Class 4 District 1 title game on Nov. 4.

What made the goal even sweeter for Nicastro was that is was a bit of redemption, as he had missed an eighth round PK a couple weeks earlier, in a 2-1 loss against Rockwood Summit. On an even bigger stage this time, Nicastro didn’t miss and the Flyers won their fourth district title in five years.

Lindbergh, 21-5, went on to beat Christian Brothers College High School 3-0 on Nov. 11 in the state quarterfinals. The Flyers are set to face Parkway Hill South on Friday in the semifinals. Read more about the quarterfinals game against CBC in the Nov. 24 edition of The Call.

The Flyers head coach, Mark Giesing, said what made the game against Vianney even better was that Nicastro had just returned from an injury.

“Gio’s return to the team has really given us better depth,” Giesing said. “Another part of this story is that he missed the majority of the season with a broken collarbone. He is a solid penalty kick taker and calm under pressure.”

The sophomore has shown he will be a force for the Lindbergh soccer program for the next couple years.

“Even as a sophomore, I have great trust in him in a difficult situation like that, even after the set back at Summit,” Giesing said. “Gio proved he will be a leader in this program for the next two years.”

With four district titles in five years, Lindbergh has quietly built a program to be reckoned with in the St. Louis area. As Giesing said, the culture that has been built has been a key factor to the success of the soccer program.

“Culture is critical to success,” he said. “For so long we felt and behaved like we were an underdog. But the program is playing with confidence across all levels. Our JV was undefeated and the freshman posted great results as well. Much of that is because we are trying to create a mentality that winning is always expected and when losses occur, we learn from them.”

It wasn’t all good news for the Flyers, as co-captain Logan Gavwiner was lost for the remainder of the season due to a broken collarbone that occurred in the first over-time of the game against Vianney. Giesing said the X-rays confirmed the broken bone.

Despite the loss of one of their captains, Lindbergh will forge ahead, preparing for a tough CBC team that defeated Lindbergh at the start of the season, 1-0.

“CBC is so well organized and disciplined,” Giesing said. “(They have) Excellent talent across the field. For us to be successful, we have to dedicate ourselves to our game plan and dictate the style of play.”

Even though the Flyers suffered an early-season loss to CBC, Giesing likes the match-up for his squad.

“I feel good about the match-up, as there are no mysteries about our opponent,” he said. “They have many dangerous weapons, a solid defense and a great keeper. I expect both teams will show up with their best effort.”

One player who Giesing said is going to be a factor for the Flyers in the game will be Kellen Douglas. Douglas has had 23 goals and 10 assists this season for Lindbergh. He has 56 points on the season.

“Kellen has really stepped up for us in goal production” Giesing said. “His work rate in the Vianney game was unbelievable.”

Read more about the semifinals in the Nov. 23 edition of The Call.