By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
The top-seeded Joplin High School soccer team, posting its 16th shutout of the season, stopped Springfield Parkview 6-0 on Tuesday in the Class 3 District 12 Tournament.
Second-seeded Kickapoo, ranked fifth in the state, eliminated No. 3 Central 11-1 in an all-Springfield meeting in the second semifinal of the four-team tourney at Junge Field.
Joplin (21-2-1) and Kickapoo (20-3), which lost to the Eagles in the Ozark Conference, will decide the championship at 6 p.m. on Friday. Joplin and Rolla, which beat both of Friday’s finalists, shared the Ozark Conference crown at 8-1.
Joplin coach Ed Miller said he liked the Eagles’ finish better than their beginning against Parkview.
Joe Rice finished with two goals — the Eagles’ first pair in the match — and an assist and Garrett Ward had two goals to spark Joplin.
Said Miller: “We came out a little flat. We were stagnant. We just didn’t move. We didn’t find our rhythm in the first half. We moved the ball better in the second half. Rice had a good match.”
Rice, who was assisted by Luis Santillan on the first goal, scored at the 8 and 17-minute marks. Griffen Locke blasted a rebound into the net at 34:00 for a 3-0 halftime lead.
Ward, assisted by Rice, opened the second-half scoring for Joplin. Locke McAllister, Ward and Ryan Estus closed out the scoring. Jon Ponce, Estus and Waldo Gomez also had assists in the second half for the Eagles.
Joplin statistics had it with an 18-9 advantage in shots. Eagle keeper Brock Renken had seven saves.
Said Parkview coach Clint Nurnberg: “I was pleased we were able to create some scoring opportunities compared to our previous meeting (a 6-0 setback for the Vikings). Maybe it would have been a more interesting match if we’d converted (some of the early chances).
“Joplin has a terrific offense,” Nurnberg said. “There’s no mistake about that.”
Kickapoo, which led 6-0 at the half, received two goals apiece from Aaron Strunk, Samuel Engler and Mac Hoogeveen.
Parkview and independent Central finished with respective records of 4-20 and 14-7.