Area soccer action heating up

Gibault senior Frank Mantia prepares to launch a kick against Edwardsville in their Sept. 11 game in which they tied, 1-1. Mantia scored Gibault’s lone goal. (John Hooser photo)


With three decisive victories last week, the Columbia soccer team extended its unblemished record to 7-0. It started with an 11-0 annihilation of Wesclin on Monday. The Eagles received goals from six different players as Matthew Roderick (4) goals, Andrew Dossett (3), Quinten Spivey, Sean Rickey, Zach Jonak and Adam Becker all found the net.

The next night, Columbia defeated Breese Central, 7-1, with Roderick (3), Dossett, Jonak, Rickey and Kyle Gudeman providing the scoring.

Columbia completed a dominant week with a 7-0 drubbing of Lebanon on Thursday. Roderick, Dossett, Rickey, Gudeman and Cameron Roth scored for the Eagles.

“We definitely have a good balance of offense and defense,” head coach Jason Mathenia said.

The numbers clearly back up that statement, as the Eagles have scored an astounding 41 goals while giving up just three.

The offense in particular has been “amazing,” according to Mathenia.

“That’s our biggest strength,” he said. “We have so many guys who can put the ball in the net on any given night.”

Among the Eagles’ scoring leaders are Roderick (15), Dossett (11) and Spivey (6). The coach also had praise for midfielder Sean Rickey.

“He doesn’t get too many goals, but he does a little bit of everything for us,” said Mathenia. “He’s the piece of the puzzle that we couldn’t do without.”

Though happy with his team’s play so far, Mathenia isn’t satisfied yet. He knows the importance of making physical and mental improvements, especially as his team hits a difficult stretch in the schedule. That starts with a highly anticipated match-up with powerhouse Gibault on Tuesday.

Mathenia recognized the excitement for the rivalry game against Gibault, but emphasized his team’s need to remain focused.

“They (Gibault) got the best of us last year and we’d like to get them back, but that’s just one of many tough games,” he said. “We have to stay sharp, be mature and play our game.”

After the clash with Gibault, Columbia will take on Valmeyer before heading to the CYC Tournament Sept. 24-28.


Early last week, the Gibault soccer team learned that senior defender Zac Epplin would miss the remainder of the season due to a serious medical situation. The Hawks responded to this challenge with resounding spirit, earning a tie and a win against two quality opponents.

First, Gibault played Edwardsville, one of the top-ranked large schools in the metro area. The Hawks walked away from a tight, physical game with a 1-1 draw. Frank Mantia scored on a free kick midway through the first half, but Edwardsville tied the score just minutes into the second half. The last 37 minutes featured good chances for both teams, but neither could convert.

Gibault senior goalkeeper Austin Gregson, who made several key saves, was pleased with the result.

“It was pretty good considering we had some new defenders playing tonight,” he said. “The guys learned throughout the night and got better as the game went on.”

On Saturday, the Hawks hosted traditional class 1A con- tender Quincy Notre Dame in a potential postseason preview. Gibault defeated the Raiders, 1-0, in a rough, nail biting thriller. The Hawks defense came up big once again, and Mantia netted the game-winner with nine minutes remaining.

Gibault coach Matt Reeb said that the news of Epplin’s situation hit the team hard, but he was happy with their response.

“It was definitely tough news to cope with for the team and especially for Zac,” he said. “My hope is that the team really appreciates the blessing of being able to play soccer, and that we come together to help Zac and the Epplin family any way that we can.”


After a tough stretch to start the season, the Waterloo Bulldogs appear to be hitting their stride. Waterloo notched four straight victories this past week, improving their record to 5-5.

First, the Bulldogs upset Freeburg on Tuesday, 1-0. Cole Kaiping scoring the winning goal late in the game.

Waterloo goaltender Tyler Chitty makes a stop Sept. 11 against Civic Memorial. The Bulldogs won, 8-0. To purchase this and other WHS soccer photos, click here. (John Spytek photo)

On Wednesday, the Bulldogs crushed Civic Memorial, 8-0. Waterloo dominated possession early, but couldn’t convert until Kaiping found the net midway through the first half. The play started with a spectacular throw-in from Dalton Berg.

Kaiping’s goal opened the floodgates, and the Bulldogs took a 4-0 lead into the break with goals from Clay Metz, Tyler Begis and Kane Osterhage. Kaiping scored again early in the second half, and John Maag, Sean Kirkpatrick and Charlie McGhee rounded out the scoring.

The Bulldogs capped off a perfect week with wins over Mascoutah and Jerseyville.

Waterloo coach Chad Holden isn’t surprised with his team’s improved play.

“We started the season playing some really good opponents and although we did lose some games, we were competitive in each game,” he said. “The players are starting to figure out their roles each game and the chemistry is starting to come together.”

The Bulldogs have been bolstered by their defense, which has not only limited other teams, but also helped to create goal-scoring chances.

“When your attack can start from the back it just adds more weapons to our team,” said Holden, who pointed to goalkeeper Tyler Chitty and defenders Austin Evans, Jared Goessling, Adam Shelby and John Maag as “standouts.”

“They are doing a really great job.”


It’s early in the season, but Valmeyer has already doubled last year’s win total. The Pirates took second in the Hancock Tournament last week, defeating Lift for Life by a score of 10-0 and Cleveland ROTC, 8-0. Valmeyer fell to Hancock, 2-1, in an extremely physical championship game. Several different Pirates scored in the tournament, led by Matt Hemenway with 6 goals, Hunter Brewer with 5 and Dakota Maus with 3.

Despite the offensive showcase, Valmeyer coach Neil Siburt credited the defense.

“The players have put in a tremendous amount of effort and work,” he said.

He also recognized his team’s chemistry.

“This team has done a better job of working together and communicating with one another,” Siburt said. “Most of the players are understanding and they’re doing a better job of using the whole field.”

Siburt is looking forward to more challenging games in the coming weeks. Valmeyer, who played Affton on Tuesday (Sept. 17), will face off against Columbia on Thursday, and Freeburg next week.

“As I always tell my players, we take every game one at a time,” he said. “Teams like Columbia and Freeburg should only make us better and prepare us for the end of the season.”

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