Sports

Confident Villa Duchesne team helps coach to 200th win

Villa Duchesne's Arden Duffy made a long reach for the ball. Villa Duchesne won their match 2-0.

Confidence goes a long way in sports.

Villa Duchense's field hockey team is riding a wave of confidence into the playoffs, having defeated major rivals and solid St. Joseph's Academy, Lafayette and Cor Jesu Academy teams during the season.

Brooke Behan, a Villa Duchesne junior, said the team's four seniors lead the way. "We have a younger team without many seniors, but the seniors we do have are very strong," Behan said. "We've known since the beginning of the season that we've wanted to be very successful ... we are headed to postseason and are very excited about it."

Karate competitors gain confidence, friendships

Ava, left, and Chloe Abernathy practiced wushu at the Ferguson Martial Arts Center. The Abernathys qualified for the U.S. karate team at the World Kickboxing and Karate Union (WKU) World Championship, held in Kilarney, Ireland, from Aug. 27 to Sept. 1.

Trinity High School junior Chloe Abernathy and her sister, Ava, an eighth-grader at St. Norbert School, took their first trip outside the United States recently.

They left for Ireland to take part in fights — and ended up with new friends from across the globe as well as a few medals.

Earlier this year, Chloe and Ava each won first place in point sparring in Evansville, Ind., qualifying them for the U.S. karate team at the World Kickboxing and Karate Union (WKU) World Championship in Kilarney, Ireland, from Aug. 27 to Sept. 1.

SLU soccer players fit the bill athletically, academically

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The St. Louis University women's soccer team opened eyes this season after a 6-0-1 start, including a 1-1 tie Sept. 8 against then-19th ranked Kansas. A state of Missouri collegiate women's soccer record crowd of 5,205 attended the game at Robert R. Hermann Stadium.

Alli Klug, Mary Niehaus and Molly Ream played all 110 minutes. Courtney Reimer logged 106 minutes. Niehaus, a goalie, made a career-high eight saves, six of which came in the second half and first overtime.

Incarnate Word star ties love of tennis to England

Incarnate Word Academy's top tennis player — among the elite high school players in the state — may not have taken up the sport if her family hadn't moved briefly to England.

Maria Brandt's desire early on was to play soccer, but that sport wasn't popular for girls in the English town where she lived while her dad worked there. It was considered by many there "not proper" for girls, she said. She passed tennis courts every day on her way to school, so she tried it.

"I instantly got hooked on it. I loved it," Brandt said. "It was always tennis after that."

St. Mary’s football team running on all gears

St. Mary's High School running back Lavel Harris carried the ball 53 yards for a thrid-quarter touchdown against Westminster Academy Aug. 18. Lavell gained 145 yards receiving and rushing in the game, which St. Mary's won 31-22.

If the season opener is any indication, the St. Mary's High School football team will be a force to be reckoned with this year.

The offense is effective in both running and passing the ball. "I try to stay as balanced as possible," St. Mary's coach Corey Bethany said.

The coach moved Lavel Harris from receiver to running back this season to keep that balance. "He had to step up," Bethany said. "He's a dynamic player. Wherever he is on the field, he'll try to make a play. He has the speed to do it from anywhere."

Volunteers get a kick out of helping Special Olympics

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Brennen Pickens arrived at the Ursuline Academy softball field unsure about playing in the kickball game. He considered watching from the sidelines.

With the guidance of Ursuline alumnae Paige Salthouse and other volunteers, he soon was at the plate kicking the ball and running to first base to loud cheers. Later, after he ran to third, Salthouse praised the 7-year-old. "Good job. You're fast," she said.

Brennen's enthusiasm at the game Aug. 4 was encouraged by the volunteers with Special Olympics Missouri who organized the game.

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