Green Wave out after loss

Published 9:17 am Sunday, February 4, 2007

BILOXI — Sean Brauchle scored two goals for Mercy Cross in a four-minute span late in the first half while the ball did not bounce Cathedral’s way in the second round of the MHSAA Class 1A/2A/3A South State Playoffs.

Brauchle’s two goals were key in the Crusaders’ 3-1 win over the Green Wave Saturday afternoon as they advanced to the South State championship game. Cathedral, the Division 7-1A/2A/3A champion, finished its season with a 12-7-1 record.

“It was a great game. We had our chances,” Green Wave head coach Rick Freeman said. “Just kind of didn’t go our way today. We could have easily won today. We played our hearts out.”

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Even though Cathedral had only four shots on goal to 11 for Mercy Cross, the Green Wave, came oh so close to converting on each opportunity.

“One of their players would get a toe on it or it would hit the crossbar or it would go just wide,” Freeman said.

Mercy Cross, the Division 8-1A/2A/3A champion for the last decade, finally broke a 0-0 tie thanks to the strong led of Brauchle.

Brauchle scored his first goal in the 33rd minute of the first half on a shot from about 30 yards out — a shot that Cathedral goalkeeper Jesse Morrison couldn’t see because he was blocked by another player.

Then in the 37th minute of the first half, Brauchle took another shot from well outside the box. And even though Morrison had no problem seeing the ball approaching him, his feet went out from under him as he approached the ball. The result was a 2-0 Crusaders lead at halftime.

In the 45th minute of the second half, Corey Platt got around a defender on the left side and put it in the goal to give Mercy Cross a 3-0 lead.

“I thought at that point it was over, but our kids didn’t quit,” Freeman said. “We really pressured them in the second half. The kids gave it everything they had.”

Cathedral finally broke through in the 77th minute of the second half when Taylor Brantley sent a crossing pass from the right side to the left side and Hunter Foster scored the goal.

Unfortunately, the Green Wave couldn’t convert on their other nine shots on goal and their season came on an end.

“Our program’s come a long way,” Freeman said. “They beat us 6-0 two years ago. Five or six years ago they beat us 10-0. Their coach would tell you this was the toughest 3-1 game they’ve ever had.”

Mercy Cross will take on defending state champion St. Andrew’s for the South State Championship next Tuesday. The Saints defeated Franklin County 4-0 at Meadville in another second-round game.

St. Andrew’s improved to 12-8 while the Bulldogs finished their season with a 17-6 record.