The Saint Stanislaus Rock-a-chaws will get an opportunity to defend their Class 4A state soccer title after blanking the Bay High Tigers 2-0 on Tuesday evening at the Brother Philip Memorial Athletic Complex.
The Rocks (14-2-1) and the the Tigers each played tremendous defense in the first half which led to a 0-0 score at intermission.
SSC did have several chances at the goal but just could not finish on their opportunities.
The Tigers' goalie, Trevor Bordelon, made several nice saves in the net during the first half.
Both teams continued to mount a defensive battle during the second half until the Rocks pressured offensively and created a numbers mismatch that allowed Austin Schruff to rip the net with 8:07 left in regulation that gave the Rocks a 2-0 advantage.
The Tigers (12-9) had to change their gameplan and pressure more on offense in the waning moments of the game which allowed Gene Hoffman to get free and score unassisted to push the tally to 2-0 with less than two minutes to play.
SSC head coach Zach Villarubia commented, "We knew tonight would not be easy. Bay High is a big physical team that played their hearts out. We defended them very well. We had some good chances throughout the game but just could not finish until late in the game. Now, we have to get ready for an opponent we do not know anything about."
The Rocks have played in the South State championship game seven of the last eight years and have some record a 4-1 against Bay High in that title game.
Bay High head coach Kelly Ross stated, "After they scored, we were pressing hard to try and tie it up and they had a chance to get another and they did. We had some very good opportunities during the game to put one in but we were not able to take advantage of that. The first goal in any game is always huge. Give Saint Stanislaus credit, they have a great program with a long history. This is the fifth time the two teams have played in South State. We have three or four seniors on the team next year and some really strong young players ready to step in and make their mark."
The Rocks will be playing Ripley High School tomorrow at Madison Central High School at 2 p.m. for their 11th state championship in soccer. SSC previously won state soccer titles in 1996-97, 2003-04, 2010, 2014-16, 2018, and 2020. This is Ripley's first state title game berth in program history.