Could Class 2A soccer powers Columbia and Waterloo be headed for a rematch?
The Monroe County juggernauts are in the semifinals of the Columbia Sectional on Tuesday, with Waterloo (20-3-1) playing Quincy Notre Dame (17-5-1) at 5 p.m., followed by the host Eagles (22-1-1) facing Alton Marquette (13-6-3) at 7.
The winners will meet for the championship at 6 p.m. Friday. Columbia defeated Waterloo 2-1 on Sept. 25 in the semifinals of the CYC Tournament at St. Louis Soccer Park in Fenton, Mo.
The Bulldogs played 64-plus minutes of the game with nine field players after a red card was issued to junior goalie Trevor Coplin for his tackle outside the box against Columbia senior Ryan Gudeman as Gudeman moved in for a breakaway opportunity.
“We’ll take one game at a time,” Eagles coach Jason Mathenia said. “If things fall into place to where we meet (Waterloo) again, then obviously we will be prepared, as we should be.”
Columbia was the Class 1A state champion last year and would like nothing more than to defend its title in the higher class. The Eagles won the Columbia Regional on Friday night, outscoring Marion 3-1 on goals by seniors Brett Meyer, Sean Rickey and Dalton Verrett.
Waterloo, meanwhile, took down Carbondale 3-0 on Friday afternoon to earn the championship of the Carbondale Regional. Junior Ben Huels and senior Ethan Lewis and Kyle Osterhage scored goals, and Coplin gained his 12th shutout in goal.
Bulldogs coach Chad Holden said playing Columbia for the championship “would be good for both communities and Monroe County.”
“It would show how soccer is down here,” Holden said. “Us, Gibault and Columbia have all had very successful program, all in the same area here. But we know Quincy Notre Dame isn’t going to be a pushover, so we’ve got to focus on them right now.”
Columbia played Alton Marquette on Oct. 15 at Gordon Moore Park in Alton and came away with a resounding 6-1 victory. The Explorers reached the sectional by defeating Chatham Glenwood 1-0 in the championship game of the Jacksonville Regional on Friday.
“We treat this opponent now any way we would anybody else,” Mathenia said. “We’ve got to go in prepared and literally forget about the result from a week and a half ago. We’ve got to go out and continue business as usual. The other message is this: ‘Look, Alton Marquette’s already seen us. There’s no doubt they’re going to have some type of game plan in place to neutralize what our threats are. We’ve got to be prepared to adjust if needed.”
Rickey (25 goals, 27 assists) is one of four double-digit goal-scorers for the Eagles. Gudeman (21), Verrett (16) and senior Cameron Roth (12) are the others; Gudeman also has 14 assists. Senior Adam Becker has eight goals and 16 assists and Roth has 11 assists.
Sophomore goalie Jon Kuebler has 15 shutouts and a 0.55 goals-against average, and senior center back John Harrell has been on a rock on defense along with Meyer, sophomore Sam Spivey and seniors Logan Cannon and Luke McClanahan.
Junior Zach Weinman (23 goals, eight assists) and freshman Chris Hartrich (12 goals, 14 assists) lead the Explorers, who have won seven of eight.
Holden is wary of Quincy Notre Dame, who eliminated Jerseyville 2-0 on Friday to win the Effingham Regional. The game was played in Jerseyville.
The Raiders’ most dangerous players are senior midfielder Aubrey Reis and junior forward Cole Hayes, both of whom scored in the win over Jerseyville.
“We know they can score,” Holden said. “They’ve always had competitive teams in the past. As you go deeper into the playoffs, there’s not going to be any easy teams. We usually don’t adjust too much. If we start adjusting, it probably looks like we’re scared already before we even play. We would rather have teams adjust to us. That’s kind of how we’ve always run things here, for many, many years. I don’t see doing anything different (Tuesday).”
Osterhage leads the Bulldogs with 25 goals and 17 assists. Huels has 23 goals and seven assists and senior Clay Metz has 15 goals and five assists. Lewis ranks second with nine assists.
“If a team wants to mark up on one, we’ve got other options we can use,” Holden said. “We’re a very good, solid team. Everybody has good shooting skills and we work well together.”
Class 3A Collinsville Sectional
The Edwardsville Tigers, who have endured a season of ups and downs, are the lone Southwestern Conference team still standing and they will take their shot against Quincy (16-4-2) in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Kahok Stadium.
Edwardsville (12-6-4) advanced Saturday night with a 2-1 victory over O’Fallon, outscoring the Panthers 4-2 in penalty kicks in the championship game of the Edwardsville Regional.
Tigers senior goalkeeper Trey Riley made two saves in the PK period, then delivered the clinching PK that sent Edwardsville to its eighth straight postseason win over O’Fallon.
Quincy defeated SWC regular-season champion Collinsville 1-0 on Saturday night, slipping past the Kahoks 4-3 in penalty kicks to earn the title of the Quincy Regional.
Edwardsville coach Mark Heiderscheid expects the Tigers to face a tough challenge from Quincy, which is in the sectional for the first time since 2011.
“For Quincy, kind of like O’Fallon, it would just be enormous for them to pick off Edwardsville just because of recent years and recent events,” said Heiderscheid, whose team ended has Quincy’s season the last three years. “Quincy’s always good; they’re always organized. A lot of people had Collinsville getting through, but Quincy is a good team.
“For us, we’re jubilant now, but we have our work completely cut out for us. (Matt) Longo is a very good coach. He gets his players to play very well. They’re just a very good team. It’s going to be a tough game for us. It really is.”
Seniors Riley Roth (17) and Bradyn Nokes (11), and junior Drew Chisholm (nine) are Quincy’s top goal-scorers. Roth is a forward, while Nokes is a defender who gets involved in restarts. Senior Chris Clay has a team-high 13 assists and junior midfielder J.D. Sohn has 11.
The Quincy-Edwardsville winner will advance to the championship match at 6 p.m. Friday against the winner of the other semifinal between Moline and Normal. Last year, the Tigers were defeated 2-1 by Normal in the title game of the Normal Sectional.
“It would be ironic again if it was Normal, but we’ll see,” Heiderscheid said. “They’re once again this year a good team, maybe not as special as what they were last year when they were rated so highly. No matter where we played them last year, it was going to be tough. It would be neat (to play them). We just have to try and get there.”
Senior Max Kieffer leads the Tigers with seven goals.