Marquette sophomore forward Ella Anselm (13) paces past a CM player toward goal. She scored a hat trick Monday night against CM at Gordon Moore Park. (Photo by Brad Piros)

ALTON – Another game, another win for the Explorers’ girl’s soccer team.

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A 5-0 win over Civic Memorial Monday night at Gordon Moore Park made it six in a row for Marquette as they now sit at 7-1 on the season.

This was the team’s second straight shutout victory after going up north and beating defending IHSA Class 1A state champs Quincy Notre Dame last Thursday by a score of 4-0.

“I thought our back line did a great job,” Marquette head coach Brian Hoener said after the win over CM Monday night. “Eleanor [Tiemann], Kylee [Murray], Lily [Covert], and Radley [Hoener] are playing really good for us,” he added.

This was Marquette’s fifth shutout of the season and the fifth for senior goalkeeper Hannah Marshall. She wasn’t tested much by CM until the final 15 minutes or so making a couple of good saves to preserve the clean sheet.

Not only did the Explorers defend, but they put it in the back of the net as well.

During Marquette’s six-game span, they’ve outscored their opponents 23-2.

It took just four minutes for Marquette to find a breakthrough and it came off the foot of their leading goal scorer, sophomore forward Ella Anselm. She quickly doubled her team’s lead in the 9th minute and just like that the game was flipped on its head.

“She’s a finisher; she can score,” CM head coach Eric Zyung said about Anselm.

“When you go down 2-0 to a great Marquette team, it’s hard to battle back,” he added.

For Marquette, those two goals immediately took some of the stress of the contest and put it on the Eagles.

“When you can score early, and when you get a second one right away, it constantly puts pressure on their back line,” coach Hoener said. “It makes us play a little more free and feeling good about ourselves.”

Shortly after these goals, each team had an injury scare, stopping the game for long periods of time in the opening 15 minutes.

For Marquette, senior forward Caroline Stephan left the game with an apparent ankle injury and never returned. For CM it was senior midfielder Aubree Wallace who went down after a hard tackle. Wallace, who is back this season after recovering from a torn ACL, was slow to get up and left the game for a bit, but she would return.

“Every time; heart goes in your throat,” coach Zyung said referring to any time Wallace hits the ground.

Wallace is CM’s second-leading goal scorer this season. She and Abrianna Garret, who’s got 26 goals and nine assists so far this year, were locked down all night by Marquette’s defense.

For Marquette, that defense turned into offense.

“I thought we did a great job of defending some of their dangerous players and we got ourselves into a good offensive flow and finished some opportunities to help manage the game down the stretch.”

“CM’s a very good team,” Hoener added.

“They’re battling some injuries right now; 23 [Garret] is a very dangerous player, so it was a good, hard contest for us. Pleased with the result. I thought we could have played a little bit better in certain portions of the game, but we’ve been off since Thursday.”

The long weekend didn’t slow down the Explorers’ offense one bit.

Sophomore forward Maya Stephan made it 3-0 in the 24th minute and that’s how it went into halftime.

Immediately in the second half, senior midfielder Aela Scruggs hit the post. Moments later senior midfielder Haley Williams scored to make it 4-0.

Anselm wrapped up the scoring in the 62nd minute when she completed her hat trick, her second of the season and fifth multi-goal game. She leads the team with 15 goals this season.

On paper, these two teams are very similar, and it could have gone either way. It just wasn’t the Eagles’ night Zyung mentioned.

“These are the kind of games you want,” he said. “They’re just a tough matchup for us.”

The Eagles won’t be back in action until Friday when they head to Breese Central with a 4:30 p.m. kick-off.

As for the Explorers, they’ve got a busy week, four games in six days. Hoener’s team gained a lot of confidence with the result on Monday.

“It’s good to get a win and start the week off the right way,” he said.

The Explorers host conference foes Metro-East Lutheran and Maryville Christian during the week and then host a tough Althoff team on Saturday at Gordon Moore Park.

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