The Jackson boys soccer team came through once again in the Class 4 District 1 Championship match as the Indians claimed their third-straight title last week.
It wasn’t an easy outing for No. 1 seed Jackson (18-4-2) as the game was decided in a penalty-kick shootout against No. 2 Northwest (16-10).
The game was tied 1-1 after the first 80 minutes of play as both teams scored in the first half.
Northwest drew first blood in only the sixth minute of the match, but the Indians were able to answer 18 minutes later following a save by sophomore goalkeeper David Mirly. He has helped Jackson record a total of 13 shutouts in 24 starts this season.
Tying the championship match for Jackson was freshman Wil Essner as he was assisted by fellow freshman Chalon Domian. Essner nearly scored a goal minutes earlier.
The game remained tied after two, 15-minute over-times but the Indians edged the Lions in penalty kicks 3-2 to come away with the title.
For Jackson, seniors Caleb Dameron and Tanner Walton along with freshman Mason Grindstaff came up with successful penalty kicks. Mirly made the final save to win it for the Indians.
“I knew we had the potential to do well this year — I just didn’t know how well we would mesh together knowing that we were going to have some younger kids playing with some seniors,” Head Coach Zack Walton said. “It’s been amazing. These seniors have really taken to those younger players and made them a part of the team.”
Jackson now faces District 2 Champion De Smet (19-3-2) in the Class 4 Sectionals. De Smet was ranked No. 6 in the Missouri High School Soccer Coaches Association’s Oct.25 rankings while the Indians remain unranked.
During Jackson’s district-title reign, the team has failed to get past the sectional round as it first fell to Saint Louis University 3-1 in 2016 and Christian Brothers College 5-0 last season.