Althoff senior Amanda Kaltwasser scored a pair of second-half goals as the Crusaders defeated Wesclin 4-0 on Tuesday at the Class 1A Columbia girls soccer sectional.
Althoff took a 1-0 lead with just more than 12 minutes remaining in the first half when junior Jessica Hoffman beat Wesclin goalie Kaylie Thaler from 25 yards out.
That goal would prove to be the only one the Crusaders (14-7-1) would need as they move into the championship game at 6 p.m. Friday. The Crusaders will play Columbia, which defeated Roxana 3-0 in the other semifinal Tuesday.
Wesclin (15-7-1), which dropped a 6-0 decision to Althoff earlier in the season, gave the Crusaders all they wanted for the first 55 minutes. But when Thaler collided with an Althoff player in front of the net with less than 26 minutes remaining, it was the beginning of the end for Wesclin.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
Thaler had to be helped from the field and did not return. Junior Karlie Macke took over, and Althoff responded with three quick goals to put the game away. Kaltwasser scored her first goal on a penalty kick, then beat Macke with a goal from close range.
“Of course, we’re happy to advance and to be playing in the sectional-title game on Friday. But I told the girls at halftime that if we lost the game that we had only ourselves to blame,” Althoff coach Juergen Huettner said. “Wesclin played well, but for the first minutes, we were back on our heels.”
Sophomore Andersyn Foster added the Crusaders second goal before Kaltwasser put the game away.
“We had a great season and I was proud of our girls effort. We had a couple of scoring chances that we just couldn’t convert in the first half,” Warriors coach Terry Calvert said. “It was unfortunate that Kaylee went down in the second half. Karlie tried her best but she really hasn’t played goalie before.”
Columbia 3, Roxana 0
Playing before a large home crowd, the Eagles (18-2-1) got goals from senior back Kalee Jackson, sophomore midfielder Fae Harrell and sophomore forward Chloe Graff as they moved into the title game to take on Althoff.
“We haven’t played them (Althoff) this year but I have seen them play twice,” Columbia coach Jamey Bridges said. “The key tonight was to give ourselves opportunities and see what happens. We did that. It was a good effort.”
Roxana, which won its first regional title in school history, finished with a record of 14-3.