Commentary

Quincy keeper delivers in surprise result

Updated: October 3, 2009, 3:32 PM ET
By Sheldon Shealer | ESPNRISE.com

COLLINSVILLE, Ill.  In the biggest match of his career, junior Logan Miller shook off past shootout failures and lifted Quincy (Ill.) to its most significant win ever at the Gateway City Soccer Classic on Friday at Metro United Soccer Complex.

Miller, who failed to stop a single penalty shot in two shootout losses last year at the classic, delivered a pair of diving saves Friday as the Quincy boys' soccer team upset Rockhurst Jesuit (Kansas City, Mo.) in penalty kicks following a scoreless draw.

The victory sends Quincy, ranked No. 47 in the recent ESPN RISE FAB 50 rankings, into Saturday's ESPN RISE bracket championship against No. 7 St. Thomas Aquinas (Overland Park, Kan.) in a meeting of undefeated teams. No. 28 Rockhurst will face O'Fallon (Ill.) in the third-place match.

Thirty-two teams  spread among four tournament brackets and a showcase group  played Friday between two venues. In the other elite group, the Adidas bracket, which was mostly held at Christian Brothers College High School (St. Louis), all the favorites walked away with wins. Host CBC defeated Dunbar (Lexington,Ky.), 5-0; Zionsville (Ind.) beat Cape Central (Cape Girardeau, Mo.), and Reitz Memorial (Evansville, Ind.) extended its undefeated streak to 65 matches after surviving a 2-1 shootout victory over Glenwood (Chatham, Ill.). In the only match not at CBC, Marquette Jesuit (Milwaukee, Wis.) edged Brother Rice (Chicago, Ill.), 1-0.

The Adidas bracket semifinals will pit CBC against Zionsville and Marquette Jesuit against Reitz Memorial in the morning with the winners to play for the championship Saturday evening.

The star of the ESPN RISE bracket Friday was Miller, the Quincy keeper. He posted his 12th shutout of the season as Quincy improved to 15-0-1. In the shootout, Miller went to his left to stop a penalty attempt by Jacob Wilbers in the fourth round and then dove to his right to parry away a shot by Grant Wilson to end the match. Quincy players stormed the field after Miller's game-ending stop.

"I felt amazing after that [last save]," Miller said. "It's a huge win and gives us a good look at what's to come in the postseason. Rockhurst is an amazing team  good at possession, and I felt that we were equal to them."

For Miller, the outcome was quite a turnaround from last year's performance at the Gateway City Soccer Classic.

"He played in two PK games here last year and in both of the PK games the coaches looked at each other and said he's not comfortable," Quincy coach Matt Longo recalled. "He looked like a grade-school kid in a high school game. He worked hard in the offseason to get stronger and more confident. And today, he came up huge."

"He worked really hard in the offseason and when he made that [game-winning] save, I was really happy for him," added Quincy's Gavin Schaefer, who converted the decisive penalty kick.

Rockhurst was playing in its fourth shootout this season and won the three previous matches.

"Their goalkeeper did a nice job reading that shot," Rockhurst coach Chris Lawson said. "We had chances before the match got to PKs and that's the name of the game. We didn't capitalize on our chances."

Rockhurst falls to 13-2 with losses to St. Thomas Aquinas and Quincy, the teams that will meet in today's ESPN RISE bracket final.

Rockhurst and Quincy matched goals through the first three rounds of penalty kicks. Bryan Jantsch, Kyle Huber and Doug Stevenson scored for Rockhurst. Blake Camacho, Matt Burrus and Zach Forbes delivered for Quincy. In the fourth round, after Rockhurst's first miss, Quincy's Gavin Schaefer converted what proved to be the decisive kick.

Friday's Results

ESPN RISE Bracket
Quincy (Ill.) 1, Rockhurst Jesuit (Kansas City, Mo.) 0 (PK).
Goals: None.
St. Thomas Aquinas (Overland Park, Kan.) 2, O'Fallon (Ill.) 0. Goals: STA: Thomas Schmeroly (Parker Beck), Luke Steele (Schmeroly).
St. John the Baptist (West Islip, N.Y.) 2, Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Colo.) 0: Scoring unavailable.
Grandview (Aurora, Colo.) 1, Rockwood Summit (Fenton, Mo.) 0: Scoring unavailable.

Adidas Bracket
Marquette Jesuit (Milwaukee, Wis.) 1, Brother Rice (Chicago, Ill.) 0:
Scoring unavailable.
Reitz Memorial (Evansville, Ind.) 2, Glenwood (Chatham, Ill.) 1 (PK): Goals: RM: Andy Diehl; G: Devin Pettis.
Christian Brothers College (St. Louis) 5, Dunbar (Lexington, Ky.) 0: Goals: CBC: Justin Bilyeu (Sean Kuster), Kuster, Kuster (Matt Hutchison), Nick Kidd (Austin Tierney), Kidd (Tierney).
Zionsville (Ind.) 5, Cape Central (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) 0: Goals: Ivaylo Mantchev, Alex May, A.J. Corrado, Dylan Mares, Ryan McDaniel.

Master Bracket
Glendale (Springfield, Mo.) 1, Glenbrook North (Northbrook, Ill.) 0; Fort Zumwalt South (St. Peter's, Mo.) 4, Hudson (Wis.) 0; CBC "B" (St. Louis, Mo.) 1, Hickman (Columbia, Mo.) 0; Springfield Catholic (Springfield, Mo.) 2, Morton (Ill.) 1.

Pool Play
Kickapoo (Springfield, Mo.) 1, Belleville East (Belleville, Ill.) 0 (PK); Cape Notre Dame (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) 1, Granite City (Ill.) 0 (PK); Horlick (Racine, Wis.) 3, Dunlap (Ill.) 2 (PK).

Showcase
Collinsville (Ill.) 2, Whitefish Bay (Wis.) 0.