LCA cruises to MCSAA state soccer championship

By John Rohlf, Sports Editor

The Liberty Christian Lady Eagles cruised to a Missouri Christian Schools Athletic Association soccer title. 

With the title, all three Liberty Christian girls’ sports teams won the MCSAA Division II title. They also won titles in volleyball and basketball. 

After receiving a first round bye in the tournament, the Lady Eagles won their semifinal game 8-0 over Marantha Baptist, the Lady Eagles scored six goals in the opening half. The game was over two minutes into the second half. Senior Anna Meyer led Liberty Christian with four goals. Lauren Moss scored two goals. Alli Meyer and Emma Woodson added one goal. 

The Lady Eagles followed up their win over Marantha Baptist with a 5-1 win over Crosspoint Christian for the MCSAA title. 

“Going into that championship game, there was really not a lot of nerves,” Liberty Christian soccer coach Ken Dildine said. “There wasn’t really a nervous tension or anything. They were there. They were ready to play.” 

Dildine said he was confident going into the MCSAA state tournament in part due to the depth the Lady Eagles possessed. While most teams the Lady Eagles played this season had one to two players to key on, Liberty Christian had six players on the front line that could score at any point. 

Dildine also stressed the quality of Liberty Christian’s defense. The Lady Eagles only surrendered 12 goals over the whole season. Dildine knew the defense was a strength from the beginning of the season. He thinks the offense took major strides over the course of the season. He cited improved ball movement offensively as a major key to the offense taking strides over the course of the season. 

“I think a lot of it pertained to getting to know how fast our wingers were and our forwards were,” Dildine said. “As the season progressed, we got more and more confident of making that pass down the sideline for our girls to go chase it.” 

Dildine also credited the senior leadership provided by the four seniors on the roster. The Lady Eagles were led by seniors Kylee Ball, Joy Kassebaum, Alli Meyer and Anna Meyer. Ball, Alli Meyer and Anna Meyer were also part of state championship volleyball and basketball teams. 

“The seniors meant a lot. Especially with some of these girls,” Dildine said. 

Despite losing several key contributors to this season’s state championship team, Dildine is optimistic about the future of the program. 

“I still have a lot to learn with these girls as well and fine tuning what we need to get done,” Dildine said. “But I think going into next year, I think we’re still going to be a force to be reckoned with at state.”