Girls Varsity Soccer
Game Summaries & Headlines.
3A SOCCER REGIONAL: O’Fallon tops Redbirds for title
Pete Hayes, email@example.com
Pete Hayes | The Telegraph
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Tori Schrimpf of Alton (21) heads the ball away from O’Fallon’s Sydney Christopher in Saturday’s championship game of the Alton Class 3A Regional Soccer Tournament at Alton High. O’Fallon won 2-0.
GODFREY — In a season in which the Alton defense dominated many an opposing team, there was still one dent in the Redbirds’ armour:
“For some reason, corner kicks have been difficult for us,” Alton first-year coach Gwen Sabo said following Saturday’s 2-0 Alton Class 3A regional championship game loss to O’Fallon. “It gave us problems today, that’s for sure.”
Indeed. The Redbirds fell behind four minutes into the game on a Panthers goal that started with a corner kick. As it turned out, that was the only goal O’Fallon needed for the victory at Piasa Motor Fuels Field.
“There wasn’t any movement by us on the corner kick,” Sabo said. The only movement was by O’Fallon players who crashed going for the ball.”
Aubrey Mister was the O’Fallon player who got to it. Her goal in the third minute made it 1-0.
“We watched and (Mister) scored,” Sabo said. “We’ve played such good defense all season, but for some reason, we’ve been hurt by corners more than once.”
The victory by the Panthers (14-7-2) puts them in the Moline Class 3A Sectional Tournament semifinals against Southwestern Conference rival Edwardsville which earlier won its own regional tournament. The Panthers and Tigers will play at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Collinsville High School. The winner will advance to the championship game at 6 p.m. Friday in Moline.
It was also the third O’Fallon victory in four games against Alton. Like the semifinal game against Belleville East, Saturday’s game was the fourth of the season between O’Fallon and Alton. They met in the early season Metro Cup Tournament and played home-and-home Southwestern Conference games.
“There were any surprises,” Sabo said. “We had chances to score, but didn’t. Hats off the (O’Fallon), they scored when they had to but we didn’t.”
The Panthers doubled their lead late in the first half. Mister got the ball on the left side of the field just past the center line. she beat a defender then scored on a floating shot that eluded Alton goalie Addison Miller with 2:35 remaining before halftime.
Alton (15-10-1) created several scoring chances in the second half.
In the 44th minute, Morgan Rauscher hit a dangerous crossing pass from right wing that was cleared by the O’Fallon defense. In the 65th minute, Alaina Nasello got free on a breakaway, but her shot from 15 yards hit the crossbar.
Two minutes later, the Panthers nearly made it 3-0, a direct free kick by Sydney Christopher was bobbled by Miller. The ball hit the crossbar, but was eventually cleared.
Late in the game, another long Nasello shot from the right side caromed off the crossbar.
“I think overall, it was a good season,” Sabo said. “Our defense played very well all season and was probably the most consistent thing about our team.”
The Redbirds notched 14 shutouts on the season.
”But I think it’s a shame we weren’t able to win a regional, because I definitely think the potential was there on this team to do that.”