There's eight teams remaining in Class 3 soccer.
There's the Farmington Knights (17-3), the Webster Groves Statesmen (13-11-1), the Glendale Falcons (19-7), the Parkway Central Colts (19-6-2), the Fort Zumwalt South Bulldogs (18-9), the Helias Catholic Crusaders (19-7), the Van Horn Falcons (24-2), and last but not least, of course, making their first state quarterfinal appearance in boys soccer, the Neosho Wildcats (13-10-1).
Just a few days after making history, the Wildcats made some more history with a 2-1 victory Tuesday night over the Parkview Vikings at Bob Anderson Stadium.
"It's a huge win," Neosho head coach James Carter said. "The program's won districts four times. We've never won the sectional game before. I've told the team, we've been talking about it, it's just another chance for them to make history. They won back-to-back district titles. That's never been done before. To win the sectional game, that's never been done before. Then, you get the added bonus of getting to do it at home.
"I told them I played for Neosho and I was jealous today. I didn't get to do this and to play a sectional game and to win it, they'll never forget it. It's been a fun year and this is a fun game."
Parkview took a 1-0 lead about halfway through the first half on a goal by junior Ennio Magri, but the Wildcats, of course, did not panic because in their previous match, they fell behind 2-0 early to conference and district rival Webb City before tying it up at half and then going ahead in the second half.
Not only that, but Neosho proved to be the more aggressive team all night Tuesday with 12 shots on goal overall compared to a mere five for the Vikings.
"I thought we were (more aggressive)," Carter said. "They had a good goal, but we've struggled with set piece goals. Sometimes, we give up some that I thought are a little sloppy. but I thought we were the aggressor. I thought if we got a goal up, I thought we would be OK because I didn't think they (Parkview) were set up today to attack. I thought they were set up to defend, so I thought we get a goal up on them we'd close them out and we did."
Neosho junior forward Yahir Ruiz netted both goals Tuesday night, the first for a tie score and the second for the lead early after halftime.
"He's an incredible athlete," Carter said. "He's really fast and he's explosive. When he gets his opportunities, his breakaways, he puts them away. Obviously, it's a team effort and he was on the right end of two tonight. I give him a hard time because honestly, he's had a lot of breakaways this year and he hasn't always finished them. I told him before the game, 'If you get a breakaway tonight, just put it away.' He just smiled. He did. He's a great athlete. Of course, and he'll tell you this, he's got 10 guys behind him to support him. They all did a good job tonight."
Senior midfielder Angel Alvarado had an assist on the go-ahead goal.
The Wildcats had a few more opportunities to extend their lead, but they did not and it did not matter because Parkview could not generate a tying goal.
Neosho defeated Parkview by a 2-1 score earlier this season, but Tuesday night's 2-1 score will be the one Wildcat Nation will remember for a long time.
Now, Neosho hosts Glendale at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bob Anderson Stadium in the Wildcats' first-ever state quarterfinal match.
"They're a good team," Carter said. "If I'm being honest, they're probably better than Parkview, probably better than Webb. It will be a great game. They're a good team, they're a strong program. Get to come back (to Bob Anderson), so that'll be fun."
Glendale defeated Rolla 2-0 on Tuesday, propelled offensively by the connection of junior midfielder Grant Compere and senior Ryan Feeney. Compere assisted Feeney on both goals, both headers struck home by Feeney with one in each half.