Eagles clip Hawks for regional crown

Columbia’s Hayes Van Breusegen drives to the goal as Gibault goalkeeper goes to make a save during Friday’s regional final. See more photos from the game at republictimes.smugmug.com.

A long-standing Monroe County high school soccer rivalry was renewed in the IHSA Class 1A Freeburg Regional final on Friday.

In the end, Columbia won this one over Gibault for the regional crown, 2-1. All of the goals in this showdown were scored within a 90-second span late in the first half.

Wind was a factor early, with the Hawks having the breeze at their backs. The first shot on goal did not come until about 16 minutes in and it was by the Eagles.

Finally, Columbia’s Jack Steckler scored in the 27th minute of the first half to give the Eagles an early lead. Columbia’s Hayes Van Breusegen followed that up with another goal shortly after.

A defensive miscue by the Eagles led to Gibault’s Owen Mechler scoring to cut the deficit in half. 

Gibault ramped up the intensity with more aggression and physicality in the second half as the team tried to even the score, but the Hawks were unable to break through.

Andy Altes made 17 saves in net for the Hawks, who ended their season at 7-11.

Gibault reached the final via a wild win in penalty kicks over regional host Freeburg last Wednesday, 2-1. Altes made 13 saves for the Hawks in regulation, plus another two big saves in PKs. 

Andrew Feldker netted the goal in regulation for Gibault. 

Columbia cruised into the regional final courtesy of a 7-0 victory over Salem last Wednesday. Steckler netted a hat trick and had an assist. Cam Ellner scored twice and assisted on two others.

Steckler leads Columbia in scoring this season with 25 goals and seven assists, followed by Ellner with eight goals and 25 assists.

Columbia (17-6-1) battled Father McGivney in the Althoff Sectional on Tuesday, winning 2-0.

Columbia plays in the sectional final at 7 p.m. Friday against the winner of Althoff vs. Mater Dei.

The winner of this sectional plays in the Virden Supersectional this coming Tuesday night. 

In other soccer action, Waterloo (9-12-2) concluded its regular season by dropping three straight without scoring a goal. 

Following a 2-0 loss to Marquette last Monday, the Bulldogs lost 1-0 at Mascoutah last Tuesday and 1-0 at Highland on Thursday.

Waterloo opened IHSA Class 2A Harrisburg Regional play Tuesday against Anna-Jonesboro, winning 6-0.

The ‘Dogs will take on either Harrisburg or Marion in the regional final at 5 p.m. Friday. 

The winner of this regional advances to the Civic Memorial Sectional on Oct. 26.

Caeden Wille leads the Bulldogs in scoring this season with 16 goals and six assists.  

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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