KIRKWOOD, Mo. – The most decorated senior class in the history of Farmington soccer was denied its mission of reaching the Class 3 final four on Saturday.
Junior midfielder Owen Culver netted two insurance goals as Webster Groves instead secured a chilly 3-0 state quarterfinal triumph after earning 11 corner kicks on neutral turf at Kirkwood High School.
The Statesmen aggressively marked the dangerous combination of Bryce Sancegraw and Tristan Stotler – to an excessive degree in some instances – and limited the Knights to seven shots overall.
Webster Groves (14-11-1) protected the lead after senior Andrew Harper scored in the 14th minute, and advanced to meet Glendale in the semifinal round on Friday.
Preston Haney, whose strong work helped the Statesmen edge Priory on penalty kicks in their previous game, made four saves in the shutout while Henry Bante notched two assists.
The back line of Farmington (17-4) faced heavy pressure throughout the first half, and required keeper Chad Silvey to deliver two excellent stops that kept the margin at 1-0.
Sancegraw completed his fourth varsity season with 40 goals, and according to the MSHSAA record book, ranks third all-time in the state with a 152 career tallies.
His elusive dribbling through contact nearly generated an equalizer out of intermission as the Knights only needed three minutes to double their first-half output of three shots.
Gatlin Roberts sent a soft roller toward Haney following a sideline throw, and Sancegraw sprang Stotler down the right side a turning diagonal feed.
Haney made a sliding save on the low drive from Stotler, then caught a huge break when the Sancegraw rebound beat him but trickled wide of the far post.
Sancegraw exchanged words with Harper numerous times during the match, and drew two yellow cards from Webster Groves. Sam Oesterlei was sent off for a dangerous tackle, and Mason Schultz bumped him several seconds after a foul had been whistled.
Haney sprinted to intercept a lead pass from Cole Gerstenberger just before Sancegraw could track it down, and later turned a 20-yard drive aside when a late corner caromed directly to the Farmington star.
The difference had increased to 2-0 by that point, thanks to a brilliant diagonal run by Culver in the 67th minute. He split defenders Chase Gollaher and Roberts before sliding a pinpoint shot past a diving Silvey after taking the pass from Bante in stride.
Bante missed high on an ensuing header in front, but Culver connected from a sharp angle with 56 seconds remaining to further solidify the outcome.
Farmington would produce just a single clean shot from five corner chances, including one that resulted from a 29-yard free kick that glanced off a wall and carried wide in the first half.
Webster Groves had the first premium scoring threat when Bante shot wide off a Farmington turnover in the sixth minute, and Ben Oliver created two more steals for the Statesmen.
Bante came back with an excellent ball that Harper gathered on the run and fired past Silvey and inside the far post for a 1-0 Webster Groves edge.
The Statesmen continued to attack with ferocity. A desperate sliding tackle by Martin Guerrero robbed Harper of a second goal along the back post, while Max Reid cleared a separate ball for Harper away with his head.
Silvey smothered a point-blank drive from the box in the 27th minute, and punched a sharper strike by Culver away with a lunge toward the near post moments later.
Webster Groves twice attempted back-to-back corners and totaled eight of them prior to halftime in a rematch of the 2015 state quarterfinal round.
The Knights unseated two-time Class 3, District 1 champion North County to give Sancegraw and Stotler a second state playoff appearance after reaching the quarterfinal level as freshmen.