Quincy Notre Dame junior forward Peyton Stegeman scored twice in the opening 10 minutes and the Raiders never looked back Tuesday as they defeated Althoff 3-1 at the Class 1A Raymond-Lincolnwood Soccer Super-Sectional.
Stegeman gave Notre Dame (18-5-2) the lead at the seven minute mark in the first half then followed that goal up a minute later when he scored on a penalty kick to make the score 2-0.
When senior midfielder Mitchell Murphy scored on a second penalty kick with 14 minutes remaining in the opening half, the Raiders had complete command and were on their way towards clinching a spot in the Class 1A state finals.
“They (Notre Dame) hit us quick,’’ Althoff coach Skip Birdsong said. “The first penalty kick came after a good call. The second one was a 50-50 ball. The officials said our goalie fouled and they got a second PK..
“But the kids kept battling and I thought we had the better of the play in the second half. There were two good teams out here tonight. One team came out on top. But our players competed hard and gave it everything they had until the end.’’
The win lifts the Raiders (18-5-2) into the Class 1A State Tournament on Friday at EastSide Centre in East Peoria.. Notre Dame will take on Decatur St. Teresa in the second of two semifinals beginning at 7 p.m. St. Teresa defeated Earlville (Co-op) at the Peoria Christian Super-Sectional on Tuesday.
Althoff senior Mitchell Kidd closed the gap to 3-1 early in the second half and the Crusaders had a goal, which would have cut their deficit to 3-2, disallowed with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
Althoff closes its season at 17-5-3.
“It was a very good year. Of course when you lose in the super-sectional, that’s not what you want to hear,’’ Birdsong said. “We lost one of our top players about six weeks ago and then we lost another one on Saturday at the sectional final. To play two men down and have a chance late against a very good team, it was a good effort.’’