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Defense, Schmitt's two goals power Grain Valley to district crown

By The Examiner staff
Grain Valley players pose with the championship trophy after defeating Sedalia Sacred Heart 3-0 in the Class 3 District 8 championship Wednesday night in Sedalia.

SEDALIA, Mo. – Ryan Lampe had very little to do but watch.

The Grain Valley goalkeeper only had to react to two shots and neither were on goal in the Eagles’ Class 3 District 8 championship game against Sedalia Sacred Heart Wednesday night.

He watched as all-state sophomore midfielder Austin Schmitt scored a pair of goals and the defense locked down the Gremlins to lift Grain Valley to its second straight district title with a 3-0 win at Clover Dell Park in Sedalia.

“Feels great winning a district title. We had been preparing for this all season to be playing our best soccer at this time of year,” Eagles first-year head coach Brett Lewis said of his team, which improved to 9-11 with its fourth straight victory. “We’ve been able to put together some really good performances these past several games and we’re going to give it all we got in the sectional game on Saturday.”

A big reason the Eagles are advancing to Saturday’s sectional – which is scheduled for noon Saturday at Grain Valley’s Moody Murry Memorial Field – is the defense.

“We played really well defensively, limiting them to only a few opportunities and keeping the shutout,” Lewis said. “Offensively we created a lot of really good opportunities to score and realistically should have had five or six goals if we were a bit more clinical in front of goal.

“A solid 80-minute effort from everyone involved and we controlled possession 60/40 to make Sacred Heart chase probably more than they’re used to against other teams.”

Schmitt put the Eagles ahead 1-0 with an unassisted goal in the 24th minute.

Kade Compton made it a 2-0 halftime advantage when he took a pass from Alex Engram and buried a shot in the 33rd minute.

Schmitt then converted a penalty kick in the 66th minute to seal the victory and the berth in Saturday’s Class 3 sectional playoff against District 7 champion Fort Zumwalt South (19-4).