The Althoff Crusaders captured their first regional girls soccer championship since 2011 with a 7-0 win over host Harrisburg in deep southeastern Illinois Friday.
Sophomore Emelia O’Neill scored with a header off a corner kick two minutes into the game and the Crusaders never looked back. They took a 6-0 lead into the half and, with their seventh goal less then two minutes into the second half, cut the remaining time in half.
O’Neill finished with three goals and an assist, while Amanda Kaltwasser added two goals and two assists in the victory.
“It’s been a long path from the last regional championship, so it’s obviously very good for the kids and good for the program,” said Althoff coach Juergen Huettner. “Once we scored those first two goals it was pretty apparent we were going to come away with the win.”
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The Crusaders (13-7-1) advanced to the Columbia Sectional, where it will face either Wesclin or Central in a semifinal game at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Althoff twice defeated Wesclin 6-0 during the regular season, but has not faced Central.
Also scoring for Althoff were Jessica Hoffman and Nicole Jones, who also was credited with a pair of assists. Amanda Jackson contributed an assist.
Junior goalie Rachel Monken earned the shutout.
Columbia wins big
The Columbia girls upheld Monroe County soccer tradition with a 6-0 win over Gibault to claim the championship of their own 1A regional Friday.
The Eagles (17-2-1) will face either Mater Dei or Roxana in the sectional semifinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday. During their current streak of nine consecutive wins, the Eagles have outscored their opponents 45-2.
The Columbia 1A Sectional championship game will be played at 6 p.m. Friday.