After playing in the 61st annual CYC/Bob Guelker Tournament last week, it’s on to another tournament for Belleville West, Collinsville, Columbia and Granite City.
The seven-pool, 57-team Gateway Soccer Classic, in its 11th year, will begin Thursday at many locations in the region. Host sites in the metro-east are Belleville East, Belleville West, Collinsville, Columbia and Oerter Park in Columbia.
Belleville East is in the tournament after playing last week in the Chatham Glenwood Tournament, where it posted its first victory of the season.
Eight states will be represented at the Gateway Soccer Classic, which is billed as the premier high school tournament in the nation. Teams from Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Wisconsin, New Jersey and Colorado will participate.
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Pool F features two of the top metro-east teams in Collinsville and Columbia. Collinsville finished runner-up to CBC in the Msgr. Louis Meyer Division of the CYC Tournament on Saturday, falling 4-1 in the championship game. Columbia won the tournament’s Msgr. Larry Walsh Division by outlasting Ladue 3-2.
Collinsville and Columbia are in opposite brackets in the Gateway Soccer Classic, which means they could meet in the title game at 6:15 p.m. Saturday at Columbia High.
Collinsville will open the tournament against Morton at 4 p.m. Friday at Columbia High. Columbia will face McCracken County of Paducah, Ky., at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Columbia.
Granite City is in Group D and Belleville East and Belleville West are in Group E.
Belleville East will play Perryville, Mo., at 5 p.m. Thursday at East. Belleville West will play Kirkwood at 5 p.m. Thursday at West. Granite City will face Jefferson City at 4 p.m. Thursday at Rockwood Summit High.
For more on the tournament, including the complete schedule, visit its website: gatewaycityclassic.com. The tournament is the run by Eric Stratman, of Quincy.
Knights keep coming
Mater Dei continues to offer proof that it is the real deal.
The Knights (11-2-2) scored an impressive 1-1 tie Monday at Waterloo, a state-tournament contender in Class 2A. Senior Blake Beckmann had the go-ahead goal midway through the second half, but Waterloo junior Ryan Stites scored from senior Kane Osterhage with about four remaining in the game.
“We came in with a game plan,” Mater Dei coach James Arnold said. “We knew we were probably going to concede possession a little bit, but we had our fair share. We just wanted to fill the gaps and put the pressure on (their) players. We had the lead and saw it slip away in the last four minutes, but (the tie) speaks well to us. ... It was a good result.”
Arnold said his players were motivated heading into the game.
“They knocked us out of the regional-championship game last year in double-overtime after we took a red card. We felt they also should have taken a red card for the same play,” Arnold said of the Bulldogs. “We played a man down against them and they knocked us out. So we had a lot of extra energy for the game (Monday), I guess.”
Waterloo’s tying goal began off a dead ball, and Osterhage slipped a pass to Stites by the post.
“They got a free kick and we fell asleep,” Arnold said. “They didn’t even take a shot on the free kick. They played a pass right in front of our wall and we literally got caught standing still. Kane wasn’t even on the free kick; Kane was walking around by the (penalty-kick) marker, and the next thing I see is him streaking across the box ... and he played a ball on the ground across the box right to Stites, and it was in the back of the net real quick.”
Mater Dei, which hasn’t lost since a 2-1 decision on penalty kicks to Highland on Aug. 28, is seeded No. 1 among the nine teams vying to advance to the Gibault Sectional. The Knights’ first postseason game will be in the Class 1A Carlyle Regional at 4 p.m. on Oct. 13 against the winner of the Wesclin-Centralia Christ Our Rock Lutheran game on Oct. 9.
Senior Blake Beckmann scored the lone goal against Waterloo. Beckmann (12 goals, two assists) is the Knights’ second-leading scorer behind senior Cade Breed (19 goals, 11 assists).
Kahoks face the best
Collinsville has been having its way against metro-east opponents this season, but the Kahoks couldn’t keep up with speedy and tactically sound CBC on Saturday in the CYC title game.
The Cadets rolled to a 4-0 lead early in the second half before the Kahoks finally got on the board on a penalty kick by senior Eric Tejada.
“They’re all over you,” first-year Kahoks coach Clay Smith said. “They don’t give you any space at all. If we’re not moving, if you’re back on our heels like we were, you’re not going to win any balls. And (if you do), you have no room to turn. And they’re deep. That’s another plus they have.
“You have to credit them the way they played. They took us out of our game. But we’re much better than what the way we played. We came out flat. We’re usually a team that comes out better after a goal is scored on us, but after that first goal, they put it in and they kept attacking, attacking, and we weren’t ready for it. We’ll regroup.”
Smith, overall, was pleased with the Kahoks’ play. They picked up a 1-0 victory over Chaminade in pool play and defeated Webster Groves 2-1 on penalty kicks in the semifinals.
“I’m proud of them,” Smith said. “We turned some heads.”
CBC coach Terry Michler didn’t read more into the win than necessary, but he did remind his players that the Kahoks had defeated them last season 1-0 in Collinsville.
“It’s an indication of how well we played tonight,” Michler said. “The same game, another night, a week ago, it might have been a different game. We got hot in this tournament.”
News-Democrat Boys Soccer Rankings
Rankings for metro-east teams; voting by area coaches and News-Democrat staff. First-place votes are in parentheses.
Boys soccer rankings (all classes)
Also receiving votes: O’Fallon (6-5-1); Althoff (6-5-2); Mater Dei (11-2-2); Gibault (8-7).