Regionals loom for soccer squads

Gibault goalkeeper Connor Olson (left) secures the ball during a 3-2 win over Granite City on Sept. 20. (Alan Dooley photo)

The postseason path has been made known and local high school soccer teams are priming to bring their “A” games into the stretch run. 

IHSA regional pairings were announced Friday in Class 1A and 2A. Class 1A games begin this weekend; Class 2A postseason games begin later this month.

Gibault has played on the final day of the season the past two years, placing third in Class 1A in 2016 and second in Class 2A last year.

The Hawks (10-4-3) went 1-1-1 in recent action, with more tough games on the schedule this week. 

Last Tuesday, Gibault tied Belleville East, 1-1. Ryan Swindle scored the goal for the Hawks. 

On Thursday, Karson Huels scored a first half goal and assisted on another by Antonio Pepe in Gibault’s 2-0 victory over Catholic school rival Althoff.

On Monday, Gibault dropped a 1-0 contest at home to Collinsville. The Hawks had several scoring chances but just couldn’t sneak one past Collinsville’s keeper.

Huels leads the team in scoring with 12 goals and 10 assists, followed by Logan Doerr with 12 goals and eight assists. Both were key pieces of last year’s state runner-up squad.

The Hawks hosted O’Fallon on Tuesday and will play at Triad this Saturday afternoon.

Gibault could face Waterloo for a regional title again this season. Gibault and Waterloo were both placed in the Class 2A Waterloo Regional.

The Hawks open regional play Oct. 16 against the winner of Mascoutah vs. Highland. Waterloo opens regional play against Mississippi Valley Conference rival Triad on Oct. 16. 

The winners of both contests battle for the regional crown on Oct. 19.

Waterloo (8-8-3) finished CYC tourney play with a 0-0 tie against Francis Howell Central last Tuesday and a 6-0 loss to Chaminade last Wednesday.

“It was a tough stretch but we saw some great competition in the tournament,” Waterloo head coach Chad Holden said.

The Bulldogs have dealt with injuries lately to some key players, including leading scorer Derek Young (eight goals, three assists) and starters Mason Springer and Hayden Reese.

“We finally have everyone healthy, so hopefully we can make a good run come postseason,” Holden said.

Other leading scorers for Waterloo are Eli Gardner (three goals, 12 assists) and Brady Marshall (four goals, three assists).

Goalkeeper Sam Ward has an .859 save percentage.

Columbia (15-2-3) also competed in the CYC Tournament last week against some tough teams.

The Eagles defeated Trinity last Tuesday, 3-0, with Alex Barton, Jonah James and Micah Peters scoring the goals. 

Last Wednesday, Columbia took down Washington by a 5-0 count. Barton, James, Karson Bridges, Brandon Hall and Drew Shaffer all scored for the Eagles. 

Barton (13 goals, six assists) and Bridges (13 goals, eight assists) are the scoring leaders for the Eagles with the absence of Riley Hubler for the season due to an ACL injury. 

Brad Meyer has 10 goals and six assists and Shaffer has nine goals and five assists.

Columbia dropped a 1-0 contest against Marquette in the CYC semifinals on Saturday. Marquette improved to 13-1-4 on the season with the win. 

The Eagles, who host Alton on Thursday and Marquette this coming Tuesday, could face Marquette a third time for the regional title. 

Columbia was placed in the Class 2A Bethalto Regional and will open play Oct. 17 against Jerseyville. Marquette is the top seed in the regional.

Alec Venhaus has been stellar in net this season for the Eagles, posting a .929 save percentage.

In Class 1A, a young Valmeyer squad picked up its first win of the season last Tuesday, 4-3 over Lebanon. 

Nathan Touchette recorded a hat trick and an assist for the Pirates. Jayden Schilling scored the other goal for Valmeyer. Touchette leads the team with four total goals on the season. 

The team lost 7-0 at Metro-East Lutheran last Wednesday and entered Tuesday’s regular season finale against Gateway Science Academy with a record of 1-15.

The Pirates open Freeburg Regional play this Saturday against Wesclin. 

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