Regional tournaments in Class 3A girls soccer will begin Tuesday at Edwardsville High and Wednesday at O’Fallon High, with all seven Southwestern Conference teams participating.
The O’Fallon Regional is loaded. Top-seeded Collinsville, the SWC champion, is 16-3 and has beaten the other three teams in the field, second-seeded Belleville West (15-3-3), third-seeded O’Fallon (9-6-5) and fourth-seeded Belleville East (12-9-2), by a combined score of 14-1.
West will play O’Fallon in the first semifinal at 3:30 p.m., followed by Collinsville against East at 5:30. The championship game will be at 6 p.m. Friday. The Kahoks won the regional last year at West by defeating East 4-0 and West 5-0.
The Maroons lost 5-0 to visiting Collinsville this season, but coach Jason Mathenia considered it his team’s worst game of the season and would relish a rematch against the Kahoks.
“We weren’t happy at all with how we played,” Mathenia said. “We were very disappointed. The girls know they did not perform to their best. We made entirely too many mistakes that Collinsville was able to capitalize on. We definitely have a bitter taste in our mouths as far as how that regular-season game went.
“Collinsville’s a very good team. That’s quite obvious. But we’ve played some other opponents that are just as strong as them and had decent results. That (Collinsville game) seems to be the ugly duckling that sits in our statbook right now. That one doesn’t sit well with me or the girls in the program.”
Collinsville is the only team that scored more than five goals in a game this season against O’Fallon, and the Panthers are hoping for a boost in their rematch with the Kahoks. That boost could be provided by freshman Sam Stutsman (seven goals), who was sidelined for the teams’ first meeting because of an injury.
“O’Fallon’s a good team. They defend very well,” Mathenia said, noting the Panthers’ 3-1 victory last Tuesday against Edwardsville. “We can’t look past O’Fallon by any means whatsoever.”
Noteworthy players in the O’Fallon Regional are: seniors Sophia Sharos (15 goals, seven assists) and Mikayla McCarthy (12 goals, eight assists), sophomore Emily Holten (nine goals, 12 assists), junior goalie Julia Scheiter (10 shutouts, 0.22 goals-against average) and sophomore goalie Morgan Lerch (eight shutouts, 0.84 goals-against average) of Collinsville; seniors Sydnee Carroll (12 goals, eight assists) and Carli Tastad (nine goals, two assists) sophomore Alexis Miller (two goals, 17 assists) and freshman Taylor Mathenia (nine goals, five assists); freshman Grace Brauer (11 goals, six assists) and senior Kara Brockmeyer (10 goals) of Belleville East; and Stutsman and junior goalie Sydney Brake (seven shutouts, 0.86 goals-against average) of O’Fallon.
In the Edwardsville Regional, the top-seeded Tigers (15-4-2) will meet fourth-seeded Quincy in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Tuesday, with second-seeded Granite City (9-9-2) and third-seeded Alton (4-11-1) meeting in the second semifinal at 7. The title game is set for 6 p.m. Friday.
The winners of the O’Fallon and Edwardsville regionals will meet in the semifinals of the Joliet Sectional on May 26 at a site in the metro-east to be determined. The game time also will be announced later.
Junior Abigail Crabtree (seven goals, four assists) and senior Allison Pritchard (four goals, eight assists) of Edwardsville, and senior Ashleigh Briggs (eight goals, seven assists) and sophomores Grace Niedhardt (nine goals, one assist) and Lexi Grote (six goals, five assists) of Granite City are among the best players in the regional.