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

LHS soccer reflects on an unforgettable season

Flyers boys soccer finishes third in state for the season
Photo by Ellie Marshall
The Lindbergh High School boys soccer team.

It was a season that the players and coaches on the team will never forget.

The Lindbergh Flyers boys soccer team ended a dream season with a Class 4 State third-place trophy.

Park Hill South scored a goal in each half of play in the Class 4 Semifinal contest at World Wide Soccer Park in Fenton on Nov. 17, getting a 2-0 win over Lindbergh. The loss sent the Flyers into the third-place game against John Burroughs.

Flyers head coach Mark Giesing said his team had chances but couldn’t capitalize in the semifinal contest.

“I think we had the better of the possession throughout the game but did not always create a lot of chances out of it,” Giesing said. “At half, we talked about patience and that the goal would come. There was no worry about getting back into it. However, after they scored the second goal, we then had no choice but to make some adjustments, but they were able to sit on a comfortable lead and really pack it in. We struggled to find paths to the goal.”

The Flyers could not score a single goal in the 2-0 loss despite having multiple shots on goal.

“You do expect to get at least one goal out of 13 shots,” Giesing said. “But, credit goes to their goalkeeper, who always put himself in a position to make the play.”

Following the 2-0 loss, the Flyers had to keep themselves mentally focused to play for the third-place trophy. In 2019, the Flyers also played in the third-place match and earned fourth place overall.

Giesing admitted it was tough for the team to stay up after the disappointment of the loss.

“It was hard to mentally bounce back,” he said. “We had put a lot of energy into the semifinal game. But, we also knew we would have some fresh legs on Saturday as we have a deep bench.”

The Flyers got a hard-fought 1-0 win over John Burroughs to earn third place. Kellen Douglas had the lone goal in the game, while Tarik Kapetanovic earned an assist. Douglas finished with a team-high 25 goals on the season and 60 points overall.

Giesing said the team focused on getting as many players into the game as possible on Saturday.

“There was a clear focus to get more guys playing time on Saturday,” he said. “I wish I would have had the time to get everyone into the game, but getting 33 guys into a game at this level is difficult.”

The Flyers could hang on for the win due to the help of the many players who came off the bench during the game.

“Burroughs continued to hang in there to the end, and I was proud of the reserves, particularly who came in and gave some quality shifts,” Giesing said.

Lindbergh’s coach said the team didn’t really feel like the final game was a must-win; instead, they were looking at it as a chance to play one more game and go out on a positive note.

“There really wasn’t a pressure to win,” Giesing said. “We wanted to go out on a positive note, but I think the focus of most guys was to just go out and give one more solid performance. I think we did that.”

The Flyers finished the season 23-6 with a core group of senior athletes.

“It was an incredible journey with some of the best young men you will ever meet,” Giesing said. “The seniors have to be considered one of the best classes of players we have ever had.”

Giesing mentioned Michael Waller as a player who stood out during the season. Waller, a defensive central midfielder, was moved to center back after Logan Gavwiner was injured, ending his season.

“Mike was critical to our success in the last three games,” he said. “His work rate and passion for the team was amazing and they are the contributions that sometimes doesn’t make it into the stat line.”

Overall, the Flyers will say goodbye to 21 seniors who will graduate at the end of the school year – a group of seniors who will always be remembered for a 23-win, third-place finish at the state tournament.