Hawks seniors see first victory over Eagles

Columbia’s Claire Foster gets a hand on one of the team’s four saves Monday against the Hawks, as teammate Erika Varel and Gibault’s Monica Shuler look on. To view and purchase more photos from the rival game, visit the RepublicTimes.net Media Store. (Teryn Schaefer photo)

Monday night was a pivotal point in the Gibault High School girls soccer season. The 3-1 victory over Columbia (4-6) marked seniors Michaela Muich, Katie Lamack and Caroline Kernan’s first ‘W’ against the Eagles in their high school careers. The win also pushed Gibault to a 5-4 record, as the only local girls soccer team over .500 at the midway point in the season.

“It was nice for us to put goals on the scoreboard against a quality opponent like Columbia,” GHS soccer coach Matt Reeb said.

Gibault got right down to business, with freshman Carley Olson scoring in the first four minutes of play on a wide open goal. She knocked it in the top left corner, where CHS goalie Claire Foster was unable to get a hand on it.

Olson, who has been battling hip discomfort, was involved in every goal Monday. GHS sophomore Liz Kuerz scored on a header from an Olson corner kick midway through the first half. But Columbia fired right back four minutes later, on a goal by Lauren Kaempfe, assisted by Rianna Probst. That put the score at 2-1, and it would remain there for the rest of the half.

In the second half, only one ball crossed the goal line with the Hawks sealing the deal on a corner kick from Olson to freshman Madi O’Neill.

“We are definitely relying a lot on our freshman,” Reeb explained, especially on defense.

GHS has been battling the injury bug, with Monday’s contest being no different. Nicole Swindle went down on a severely rolled ankle and is scheduled for an MRI this week. Muich, who has been playing through a torn meniscus, also rolled her ankle Monday.

“As long as no one goes down for the rest of the year,” Reeb said. “I think we will be OK.”

The coach says he is also more than OK with his team heading into the later half of the season.

“I like our results against 1A schools,” Reeb said, adding wins against schools like Althoff and Columbia is just what the team will have to do in the postseason.

Columbia has also been battling injuries with senior Jenna Vogt out for the first part of the season; she then pulled her quad in warm-ups Monday. Ashley Myers, who has also been out, came back last Thursday and then pulled her hamstring against Gibault.

Along with the injuries, CHS soccer coach Steve Ross says the team’s big word of the season thus far is composure.

“We really were not composed last night,” Ross said. “We’ve been inconsistent this season and you don’t want inconsistency to show in big games.”

Gibault’s next game will be Mascoutah on Thursday, while Columbia is slated for its second rival game in one week against Waterloo on Wednesday. The two teams are coming together for a good cause in the annual Coaches Kickin’ Out Cancer event.

Waterloo (5-6) is coming off of a home win against Civic Memorial, 4-1, on Monday as well.

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