Crosstown rivals met armed with their blankets and cold-weather gear, battling the blistering winds and each other at the WHS athletic complex Saturday.
Waterloo took the lead early in the first half with a goal by senior Jodi Kaiping, assisted by freshman Erika Lloyd. Neither team would score the rest of the game, with the Bulldogs came out on top, 1-0, winning its sixth year in a row against the Hawks, who haven’t defeated WHS since 2007.
Both teams come into the season adding several freshmen to the mix.
“Of course it takes some time to find the right chemistry when you have such different ages on a team and they have never played with each other,” WHS soccer coach Chad Holden explained about gelling veterans and young talent. “But as
I told the girls at the beginning of the season they had to think patience at the beginning, but throughout the season they would improve.”
Also an underclassman, sophomore goal keeper Mia Reed held strong for the first half on Saturday but was pulled out of the game at halftime due to a hand injury.
“Mia actually hurt her hand in the first minute of the game on a shot by Gibault,” Holden said. “We did not know until halftime when she came to the sideline and her hand was swelling up.”
Holden later told the Republic-Times Reed broke her hand and is expected to be out for six weeks.
Senior defender Sam Garza, who has seen some time in goal over her career, relieved Reed for the remainder of the contest.
“She has not practiced the position for us this season yet, but it didn’t seem like she missed a beat in there,” Holden told the Republic-Times.
GHS coach Matt Reeb says he is a bit concerned with his team’s ability to score since the season-ending ACL injury to their starting forward.
“Since Hannah O’Neill’s injury, we really have not produced many goals,” Reeb said. “I am looking to shake things up a bit and play a different formation and attack a different style because our personnel is now a lot different because of our injuries.”
Gibault was scheduled to play Monday at Belleville West but was snowed out. The Hawks are scheduled to participate in the East Alton-Wood River tournament beginning Wednesday, while Waterloo is slated to play Belleville East away on Thursday.