WATERBURY -- For most of Saturday evening's Class M semifinal against Rocky Hill, St. Joseph freshman Jenna Bike played with the ruthless efficiency of somebody who wanted to get it over with quickly since she had other -- more important -- plans.
Turns out she did.
Shortly after capping her hat trick with a spectacular dart through the Terriers' defense midway through the second half of the Cadets' eventual 6-0 victory at Municipal Stadium, St. Joseph coach Jack Nogueira pulled her from the game. It wasn't for a curtain call or even to save her for next week's Class M final.
Bike had a plane to catch bound for Florida at LaGuardia Airport in New York as she headed out for a training camp with the United States Under-14 National Team.
"She's been very good for us all year, I thought she was tremendous today," Nogueira said. "They couldn't handle her."
That might be an understatement as the No. 6 Cadets -- led by Bike's three goals -- swept aside the overmatched No. 10 seeded Terriers, booking a place in the Class M final next weekend against top-seeded Northwest Catholic.
"The last half of (Wednesday's quarterfinal against) Suffield and today, we were fantastic," Nogueira said.
It took some time for St. Joseph, the FCIAC co-champ, to break through until Bike's goal in the 31st minute set up by classmate Leah Lewis.
Two minutes before halftime Bike lashed in a cross that Juliana Marino headed past Rocky Hill keeper Bryanna Motolvo, doubling the St. Joseph lead.
The 1-2 punch before the break seemed to deflate whatever resolve the Terriers had left as the floodgates opened for the Cadets in the second half. Bike made it 3-0 quickly after the restart.
She then put a cherry on top of her hat trick with an impressive run through a trio of Terriers defenders at the top of the box, righting herself before ripping a shot over the head of Motolvo.
Lewis, on a pass from Samantha Grasso, made it 5-0. Senior Katie Danaher finished the onslaught with a very well taken goal from distance in the final minute of the game to push the Cadets' victory margin to 6-0.
The win puts St. Joseph in its first state final since it won back-to-back Class M championships in 2007 and 2008 -- a year before the current senior class enrolled at the school. It was important for those players to get a chance to win a title of their own after four years of waiting.
"It feels really good, the fact that they had state championships before we got here and we haven't gotten there yet is discouraging, but we really want to get a ring," Danaher said
Bike, who is from Trumbull, was called into training camps with the U.S. U-14 earlier this year in both California and North Carolina. She'll train in Florida before returning for next week's final, which will be played on either Friday or Saturday.
Nogueira didn't want to speculate on his star freshman's potential or how she compares to some of the other elite players he's coached.
"She's very good," Nogueira said with a smile.
Class M semifinal
At Municipal Stadium
ROCKY HILL 0 0--0
ST. JOSEPH 2 4--6
Records: Rocky Hill 14-4-2; St. Joseph 18-2-2. Goals: SJ--Jenna Bike 3, Julia Marino, Leah Lewis, Katie Danaher; Assists: SJ--Lewis, Bike, Samantha Grasso; Goalies: RH--Bryanna Montolvo (4 saves); SJ--Molly Meehan (1)