CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The COVID-19 pandemic hit the spring sports season hard.
It left many Heartland athletes with a desire to take the field one last time.
State Championship celebrations echoed through the streets of Perryville in 2017-18 for the St. Vincent girls soccer team.
“I never experienced anything like it in my life, it was quite amazing," said Lizzie Wibbenmeyer, St. Vincent senior.
“Freshman year was amazing, and it’s kind of like how do you go from there," said Megan Lipe, St. Vincent senior. "Sophomore year and junior year, it was kind of riding those dreams.”
They were living the soccer dream. And despite just missing a third consecutive state title in 2019, they had high hopes in 2020.
“I was really looking forward to this senior season to play one more time," Lizzie Wibbenmeyer said.
“I was really excited for our team, not just for the playing aspect but to teach them everything I learned throughout my four years,” Megan Lipe said.
Former St. Vincent coach Caitlin Pistorio led the Lady Indians to three state tile appearances. She planned on going this year as a fan.
“I know it’s hard to look into your crystal ball, but what could they accomplish their senior year," she said. “I have no doubt they could have won state.”
But due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the two remaining St. Vincent seniors never got that chance.
“I was pretty upset, it’s kind of shocking that I was, we placed second at state and a lot of people don’t get to do that, but after winning two years in a row, it’s kind of a let down, because you’re wondering what could you have done to get that win," Lizzie Wibbenmeyer said.
“Each year we lost some great players, and so this last year was going to be our turn to show them even though we lost some great players we could still get back to where we were," Megan Lipe said.
“My heart broke for them because not only did I think they had a great shot at going back, and finishing the job, but to not get the chance," former St. Vincent coach Caitlin Pistorio said.
Beyond the big games and countless kicks, is a special bond between these senior captains.
“We had the same leadership styles, so when I came to Lizzie to talk about it, she already knew," Megan Lipe said.
“I was really looking forward to being a leader with Megan by my side. I was hoping we could make it to State," Lizzie Wibbenmeyer said.
Now keep this in mind, Lizzie and Megan have been playing soccer since kindergarten, and they don’t want to see it end this way.
When asked if they needed some closure to this whole thing, Megan Lipe said, “I would definitely say so. There is a little part of me, I’ll always be a soccer fan, it will always be my favorite sport, I’ll miss it, not having that last season.”
Lizzie Wibbenmeyer agreed.
“I kind of feel like I’m stuck, I still feel like I need to play one last game to finish my career," she said.
The St. Vincent Athletic Department said a final game is still in the planning stages, pending final approval.