Lafayette Lancers thwart Oakville Tigers in soccer sectional

By STEPHEN GLOVER

Some things are just not meant to be.

That’s the perspective Oakville Senior High School head soccer coach Dave Robben has taken after the Tigers’ 1-0 loss to Lafayette in the Class 3 sectional game last week.

“Overall, we played a good game and fought all the way down until the end,” Robben told the Call. “In retrospect, it was a game that just wasn’t meant to be.”

The Tigers (17-8-2, 6-1-1 Suburban West) were on a roll going into the Nov. 7 game with a Suburban West Conference championship and a 1-0 win over Mehlville in the District 3 championship in their back pocket.

But a tenacious performance by Lafayette goalkeeper Mike Hamilton kept the Tigers from advancing past the state sectional for the second time since 2001.

Lafayette’s long goal of the game came from Sean Butler at the 20-minute mark. Stephen McMahon recorded the assist.

Oakville turned on the heat in the second half when goalkeeper Ken Cooper moved toward midfield during the final minutes of play.

But a last-minute effort by the Tigers to gain the equalizing goal was thwarted by the Lancers’ defense in the 1-0 loss.

“They (Lafayette) played with a lot of pressure and didn’t give us a whole lot of time with the ball,” Robben said. “Obviously, with their wins over CBC, us and Hazelwood Central, they’re doing something right.”

The Tigers lose 17 seniors — Eric Albritton, Dusty Allison, Kevin Beermann, Ken Cooper, Beadin Dedic, Brett Deters, Chris Dolan, Peter Hwang, Jeremy McBride, Jake Pittroff, Derek Pleimann, Cory Proffer, Greg Schaeffer, Eric Schmidt, Sam Shaffer, Chris Stocker and Kenny Stoecker — to graduation, which means that Oakville soccer fans will see a lot of new faces next season.

“We purposely kept our JV (junior varsity) team intact this season for next year,” Robben said. “So I think you’ll see us kind of reloading for next year.”