WINFIELD — Three first-half goals were too much for Rose Hill to overcome in a 4-3 loss to St. James Academy in the Class 4-1A boys soccer semifinals Friday night.
The Rockets rallied to within a goal in the final 10 minutes, but St. James extended the lead in the final seven minutes and will face Kansas City Christian in today's final.
For the Rockets (16-4-0), the main problem was the second part of the first half.
"We just got physical a little too late," Rose Hill coach Jerry Treat said.
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St. James jumped to a 3-0 halftime lead and kept Rose Hill without a shot in the first half.
William Wyatt broke the Rockets' scoring drought in the second half, scoring on a long kick with 14:23 to play — a shot that drove Thunder goalkeeper Shaun Boemer into the net before he dropped the ball. Dom Swindler then struck for Rose Hill's second goal with 8:53 left.
But St. James sophomore Steven Enna scored his third goal, with 6:46 to play, sealing the victory.
"We were very fortunate in the first half," St. James coach Rick Enna — Steven's father — said. "We won a lot of 50-50 balls, we created some good opportunities and were able to get up by three goals — and boy, did we need those three goals."
The outcome was in doubt until the final seconds had ticked off.
"Anything that can happen in a final four situation, will happen," Rick Enna said. "There's no lead that's safe. Although I thought we were playing pretty well in the second half, Rose Hill picked it up and they played much more aggressively in the second half, and two of their three goals were the result of them being real aggressive in our end, and rebounds into the net."
Enna said he thought his son "disappeared" in the second half before hitting the game-winner.
"Just when the momentum shifted in their direction, he got hold of one of their balls and they let him have a step, and he just hit that cannon," Rick Enna said.
After Steven Enna's goal, Kenton Weber scored for Rose Hill with four minutes left, making St. James' victory uncertain until the end.
Rose Hill0 3 — 3 St. James Academy3 1 — 4
First half—St. James, Deggendorf (unassisted), Enna (unassisted), Enna (unassisted). Second half— Rose Hill, Wyatt (unassisted), Swindler (unassisted); St. James, Enna (unassisted); Rose Hill, Weber (unassisted). Shots— Rose Hill 0-6—6, St. James 8-5—13. Saves— Rose Hill 0-0—0, St. James 2-2—4.
Kansas City Christian1 0 — 1 Topeka Hayden0 0 — 0
First half—KC Christian, Pool (unassisted). Shots— KC Christian 4-4—8, Hayden 2-2—4. Saves— KC Christian 0-1—1, Hayden 1-5—6.