WARRENTON — The arrow on the future is pointing up for the Warrenton girls soccer team, which had a youthful quartet earn All-Gateway Athletic Conference North honors.
Junior goalkeeper Courtney Bayer and freshman forward Bella Roberts made the first team, while sophomore hybrid forward/defender Madilynn Lombardo and junior midfielder Lexi Frederick were second team nods.
With no seniors, the Warriors foursome should be back on the field in full force next year after guiding the team to nine wins in 2019, the most in Head Coach Amy Wargowsky’s four seasons at the helm.
Bayer’s been a big part of the upswing. A stalwart between the pipes as a three-year starter, Warrenton’s goalie made 257 saves this season and sprinkled a fair share of jaw-droppers into the mix. Her stop total was good for fourth most in the St. Louis Metro area.
Bayer started every game in net, tallied five shutouts and had four games with 20 or more saves, including a season-high 27 in a 4-0 loss at Orchard Farm April 17.
“Courtney’s been solid over the past three years and has over 700 saves for her career,” Wargowsky said. “She’s dedicated and is a leader on the field as a captain for us.”
Roberts reeled off a team-leading 22 goals in her first varsity soccer season and also added six assists to end tops in scoring with 50 points. She had seven multi-goal games, including a hat trick in a 5-2 triumph over Fatima April 15.
While she can pounce on teams soft around the backline, it’s her ability to find the net against more tenacious defenses that warrants attention.
For example, she scored the first-ever Warrenton goal St. Charles West has allowed in an 11-1 loss March 26. STCW had shutout Warrenton in 23 meetings prior, dating back to 2003.
“Bella’s quick to the ball and provided us a scoring threat in games where we hadn’t had any type of offense in the past,” Wargowsky said. “She knows how to be in the right spot and take advantage of a defense’s weaknesses.”
Roberts became the second consecutive Warrenton freshman to notch 20 or more goals in a season, following Lombardo’s program-best 29 last year.
Speaking of, Lombardo hit the 20-goal plateau again, finishing with that exact number and three assists despite less scoring opportunities as she split time between offense and defense depending on the situational matchup.
Lombardo had four games with three or more goals, putting in hat tricks versus Mexico and Winfield, a four-spot in a 10-0 shutout over county rival Wright City and a five-goal performance against Fulton in Warrenton’s season-opening tournament.
“Maddie’s just an all-around player who contributes wherever she is on the field,” Wargowsky said.
Frederick was also a versatile player for the Warriors and their most proficient passer, dishing out the third most assists in the GAC North with 15. Only Orchard Farm’s Lily Dahl (21) and STCW’s Kaitlyn Weinrich (16) had more. Frederick also netted the team’s third most goals with nine.
And soccer wasn’t the only sport she piled up points in, as she was a sectional qualifier in the 400 and state qualifier in the triple jump for Warrenton’s track and field squad this spring as well.
“Lexi’s athletic ability and her knowledge of the game really contributed to the team’s success this year,” Wargowsky said.
Bayer and Roberts were also all-district selections where Warrenton fell 2-1 to finish 9-13 in a tight opening round matchup against top-seeded Helias. Host Liberty Wentzville went on to win the Class 3 District 4 Tournament before having its campaign ended by a 3-2 double overtime loss to eventual state champion St. Dominic in sectionals.
It was a wild postseason run for St. Dominic, which won its fifth state title and first since 2013. The Crusaders overcame a halftime deficit with goals from a trio of freshmen to down Kearny 3-2 in the semifinals before outlasting 2018 state winner Rockwood Summit 2-1 by a penalty-kick tiebreaker (7-6) to claim the Class 3 championship Saturday night at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City.
STCW was the only GAC North team to win a district title, besting Lutheran St. Charles 6-0 in the final before being edged 2-1 by Southern Boone in Class 2 sectionals.
West’s Weinrich, a junior midfielder, was awarded Player of the Year for the conference winners. In addition to her 16 assists, she also totaled eight goals to finish with 32 points.
Forwards Meghan Papin and Abbie Giblair, and defenders Courtney Schreiber and Alyssa Pavlavic also made first team all-conference for West.
Midfielder Kayla Hedges and defender Vanessa Braune were Orchard Farm’s first team honorees, while forward Maggie Skeen and midfielders Emma Booker and Brooke Schneider made the cut for the St. Charles Pirates.
Winfield had no all-conference players.