Girls’ soccer Tigers face St. Louis Classic

By Stephen Glover

To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.

That sort of philosophy tends to run well with Dave Robben, the head girls’ soccer coach at Oakville Senior High School.

Robben and his Tigers will face some of the nation’s best high school teams this weekend at the St. Louis Soccer Classic, of which St. Joseph’s Academy at SportPort is playing host.

So when you toss in the St. Louis Classic Tournament along with the Tigers’ regular season schedule, it’s safe to say that they will have a lot on their plate this week.

“It’s going to be a busy week for us,” Robben told the Call. “The big question is how quickly can the players regain their focus.”

There will be little time for the Tigers (3-1-1) to ease their way back into action after last week’s spring break as they were scheduled to play host to Rockwood Summit Tuesday and Webster Groves today — April 15 — before heading into the tournament this weekend.

Robben knows that with Summit and Webster Groves being both conference matches, the fate of a Suburban South Championship could be determined before the week is over.

“We come back from spring break and right away we play Summit and Webster (Groves),” Robben said. “It’s going to be a matter of not only those two teams, but also a matter of picking up where we left off before the break.”

Oakville went into the spring break with a 2-1 win over Triad in the championship game of the Bi-State Shootout.

Senior defender Jackie Roepke, along with senior goalkeeper Val Vogler and freshman midfielder Emma Kriegel were named to the all-tournament team, with Kriegel being named the tourney’s “Most Valuable Player.”

Kriegel scored two goals against Triad, which included the Tigers’ game-winning goal. The attacking midfielder has made the most of her experiences at the varsity level with two goals and one assist this season.

The Tigers will be the only local public-school team invited to the St. Louis Soccer Classic, which is a compliment to the Oakville soccer program.

Oakville’s true test of the season will begin at 7 p.m. Friday as the team takes on Marian Senior High School of Omaha, Neb. Marian currently is ranked 21st in the nation, according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Oakville faces Shawnee Mission East High School of Shawnee Mission, Kan., at 9 a.m. Saturday. The Lancers won the Kansas state championship in 1997, 1999 and 2000.

The Tigers’ final match of the tournament will be at 6:30 p.m. against Bob Jones Senior High School of Madison, Ala. The Patriots are the defending Alabama state champions and currently ranked third in the state, according to the Alabama High School Athletic Association.