Bulldogs win MVC title again

Waterloo junior defender Brennan Lacroix secures a pass during a recent home game. (John Spytek photo)

The Waterloo, Gibault and Columbia soccer teams each ended their regular seasons with impressive wins as regional play gets underway this week.

Waterloo downed Triad at home Thursday night, 2-0, to capture a second straight Mississippi Valley Conference crown. 

With the win, the Bulldogs avenged a Sept. 13 loss to the Knights and finished the MVC schedule with a 9-1 record. Waterloo went undefeated in MVC play last year.

Brady Marshall and Jake Elsing scored the goals for Waterloo and Sam Ward made seven saves for the shutout.

“I thought both goals that we scored were well-deserved, but I also thought our defense did an unbelievable job,” Waterloo head coach Chad Holden said. “Nolan Rick, Garrett Smith, Dalton Blanchard and Brennan Lacroix really limited Triad to not too many shots on goal and our goalie Sam Ward was up for the challenge when they were able to get a shot on goal. 

“It was a great team effort and hopefully we can carry the momentum into the postseason.”

The Bulldogs (11-9-3) hosted Triad again Tuesday night to open Class 2A regional play. The Knights won this time, ending Waterloo’s season. 

Derek Young led Waterloo in scoring this season with eight goals (three game-winners) and four assists. Marshall was next with six goals and three assists. Eli Gardner has three goals and 13 assists. 

Ward had nine shutouts in net with an .873 save percentage.

Also playing Tuesday in the Class 2A Waterloo Regional was Gibault (13-4-5), which took on Mascoutah. The Hawks won the game, 3-0, and will play Triad for the regional title on Friday.

The Hawks concluded regular season play with a 4-2 victory at Belleville West on Thursday. Logan Doerr scored two goals and added an assist in the win. Cam Kincheloe and Tate Schilling scored the other goals for the Hawks.

Doerr now leads the Hawks in scoring with 17 goals (four game-winners) and 12 assists, followed by Karson Huels with 15 goals and 13 assists and Kincheloe and Schilling with six goals each. 

Connor Olson and Will Janson have both played solid in net for the Hawks.

Columbia (18-3-3) begins regional play at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday against Jerseyville in the Bethalto Regional.

Last Tuesday night, the Eagles avenged a 1-0 loss on Sept. 29 to highly ranked Marquette with a 3-2 senior night victory at home. 

Alex Barton scored a goal and assisted on goals by Brandon Hall and Brad Meyer for the Eagles. Marquette fell to 15-2-4 with the loss.

Alec Venhaus made seven saves in net for Columbia, which could face Marquette again for the regional title Saturday at Bethalto.

Venhaus has 19 shutouts and an .877 save percentage.

Leading the way in scoring for the Eagles are Karson Bridges (16 goals, eight assists), Barton (15 goals, eight assists) and Brad Meyer (11 goals, seven assists).

The winners of the Waterloo and Bethalto regionals advance to the Triad Sectional. The Bethalto Regional winner will face the Effingham Regional champion at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday; the Waterloo Regional winner will battle the Carbondale Regional champion at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

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