DECATUR -- Mount Zion girls soccer coach Jonathan Moore saw the high points.
Now he's looking to keep that level consistent instead of it flashing up and down like a heartbeat. The Braves, though, did enough to topple Danville 1-0 in the St. Teresa Invitational semifinal.
"Our girls played well in spurts, but we need to learn to get more consistent and aggressive play," Moore said. "Defensively, we were solid and Maggie Harder does a great job anchoring our back line."
That defense cleared away most of Danville's attack and goalie Tory Parkhurst took care of the four shots on goal.
Olivia Gingerich scored the lone goal to help bring Mount Zion back to the championship game for the fifth time in six years. The title game is today at noon.
"We are happy to be back in the championship game, but we know we have our hands full with a a very talented Pana team," Moore said.
Pana 1, St. Teresa 0
DECATUR -- The Panthers had another shutout while advancing to the final.
"The girls played very well," Pana coach Mike Weideman said. "Passing is moving right along. Our defense seems to be, a lot of times, like the girls step up when needed."
Shania Schoonover set up Katelin Weideman for the lone goal of the game, though Pana had nine other shots on goal.
Pana's coming off a 19-win season that included a regional title.
You have free articles remaining.
"St. Teresa has always been a strong team when we play them, so I'm very happy with the way the girls played," Weideman said. "Only our second game, so a really good start to the season."
Plainfield South 8, Mount Zion 4
SAUGET -- In an invite that included many of the better teams across Illinois and the St. Louis area, the Braves cut their teeth against one of the better high school pitching prospects in the nation.
Austin Marozas, the top-ranked prospect in Illinois who has committed to Kentucky, has a fastball that tops out at 93. The Braves knocked in a couple of runs on him, but their defense let too big of a lead rack up for Plainfield South.
"We learned a lot about our team today," Mount Zion coach Matt Smith said. "I liked the fact offensively we weren't timid. We didn't find many barrels today, but we also didn't strike out too many times facing one of the best arms in the state."
After Sammy Schultz started, sophomore Kolton Beckett came in for relief and had a scoreless outing.
"Beckett went right into the fire and he responded well in relief," Smith said.
Plainfield South lost 4-3 in the Class 4A super-sectionals last year. Forcing a full seven innings in the big environment of GCS Ballpark, Smith left encouraged.
"We were down 8-2 at one point and just kept grinding away," he said. "I'm going to like seeing that fight in our team as the season progresses."