High School Sports

Waterloo cruises to sectional championship

This time, Waterloo’s 2-0 lead at halftime was only a portent of things to come.

Versatile senior Kane Osterhage scored three goals, including one penalty kick in each half, as the Bulldogs lambasted the Alton Marquette Explorers 7-0 on Friday in the championship game of the Class 2A Columbia Sectional.

Seniors Ethan Lewis and Clay Metz and juniors Ben Huels and Ryan Stites also scored in the second half for the Bulldogs, who improved to 22-3-1.

“It was the plan to get on them early and not let them get any momentum,” said Osterhage, whose big game boosted his goal total this season to 29.

In the semifinals Tuesday, Waterloo led Quincy Notre Dame 2-0 at the half, only to see the Raiders tie the game in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Waterloo eventually won 3-2, but the Bulldogs didn’t desire a walk down the same road.

“We stressed that at halftime: ‘Let’s keep to what we’re doing,’” Waterloo coach Chad Holden said. “We reminded them about Tuesday night and we came out on all cylinders that second half.”

Waterloo will meet Springfield or Rochester in the Jacksonville Super-Sectional at 7 p.m. Tuesday at England Stadium on the campus of Illinois College. Springfield and Rochester will meet in the championship game of the Urbana Sectional at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Marquette, which upset Columbia 2-1 in the semifinals Tuesday, finished 14-7-3.

Goals aplenty

Osterhage scored the only goal Waterloo needed at 2 minutes, 58 seconds, scoring inside the far post from the right side. Marquette bounced back and enjoyed moments of solid play, with shots by senior Jacob File and junior Zach Weinman posing threats.

But Explorers senior goalie Brandon Sanfilippo was called for a foul in the box against Osterhage before Osterhage was able to shoot. The ensuing yellow card gave Osterhage a penalty kick that he easily finished against Marquette’s backup keeper, freshman Nick Hemann, to make it 2-0 at 34:40.

Then the onslaught began, as Huels, Lewis, Osterhage, Metz and Stites scored in the first 22-plus minutes of the second half to make it 7-0. The remaining time on the clock was reduced in half to nine minutes, per Illinois High School Association rules.

Osterhage’s third goal, his second penalty kick, happened in the same fashion as the first when he was fouled by Sanfilippo. This time, Sanfilippo received a second yellow, which precipitated a disqualifying red card that forced the Explorers to use nine field players for the remainder of the game.

“That’s never happened to me before in a game,” Osterhage said of twice being fouled in the box by a goalie. “He basically took me out. He didn’t think the second one should have been a card, but I knew it should be.”

Holden said he had never seen a field player fouled twice by a goalie.

“I’ve been here a long time, too,” said Holden, who began at Waterloo in 1998.

From the Explorers

Marquette coach Jeremy Sanfilippo said his team’s enthusiasm was zapped after Huels scored at 42:10 to make it 3-0.

“I thought I had them fired up a little bit after I talked to them (at halftime) and got them out here, but the third goal kind of brought them down again,” he said. “I tried to get them all back up, but I could see in their faces that they knew it was going to be a tough mountain to climb. We were doing everything we could, but ...

“They’re a fast team and they’re a good team. Against a good team, it’s going to be tough coming back.”

What if?

Many had anticipated a sectional-final rematch between Waterloo and Columbia. The Eagles defeated Waterloo 2-1 on Sept. 25 in the CYC Tournament in Fenton, Mo.

But Columbia’s loss to Marquette shattered those aspirations, leaving people to wonder what might have happened. One thing’s for sure: The crowd, already large in numbers Friday, would have been even larger had the Monroe County rivals met again.

“I would have (liked that), to get them back from last time,” Osterhage said. “But Alton Marquette’s a great team and Columbia lost to Alton Marquette. So that’s who we had to play. But it would have been a great atmosphere.”

David Wilhelm: 618-239-2665, @DavidMWilhelm