ALTON – The Alton High School girls soccer team boosted their record to 15-3 after a 9-0 win over the Highland Bulldogs. The game Friday night (May 6) was Senior Night for the Redbirds as they celebrated five seniors: Josie Paniagua, Caroline Hobbs, Tori Schrimpf, Haylie Butler, and Taylor Freer.

Paniagua scored the second goal against Highland in the 13th minute. It was her third goal of the season. Josie has been on the varsity team since her freshman year where she had a goal and assists back in the 2018-19 season.

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Hobbs, who hasn’t seen a lot of playing time this season, made the start against Highland and played a lot of minutes.

The other three seniors all wore captains' armbands against the Bulldogs and have all been four-year varsity starters.

Starting off with Freer who got to play with her little sister Lily for a season and also had a goal on Senior Night. She’s been running the midfield for Alton alongside her sister.

“I’m so proud of her. She’s definitely a little more skilled than me,” Taylor said while laughing. “I just really love playing with her.”

The goal against Highland was her third of the season, but where she really shines is stringing passes together and finding her forwards. She’s only got an assist on the season, but she is a staple in Alton’s midfield that will surely be missed.

Tori Schrimpf played her freshman year for the Redbirds scoring three goals. The COVID-19 Pandemic canceled her sophomore season, as well as the other seniors. Tori chose to play club soccer in the spring of her junior year and come back to play for Alton High for her senior season.

She had a goal Friday night in the 36th minute. A penalty kick was awarded to Alton after a handball inside the box. She stepped up and put it away smoothly for her 11th goal of the season.

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She’s happy to be back with her high school teammates as the Redbirds are coming down the home stretch.

“The bond that this team has had is just amazing. I’m really sad to leave them this year,” Schrimpf said.

Haylie Butler is the other who is really proud about being able to captain her team.

“It means a lot. I hope I’m a role model,” Butler said. “I love to be with this team and it’s one of my favorite teams I’ve ever had.”

She has also been on the varsity team since her freshman year when she had a goal and an assist. Fast forward to Friday night when she scored the first goal of her senior season. Of all the nine goals scored on that night, the celebration was the biggest for hers. It was clearly a special moment with her teammates.

The ladies will get to play together for at least three more games and hopefully more. They have two more regular-season games left; on Tuesday, May 10 against Edwardsville and Thursday, May 12 against Belleville East. Both games kick-off at 6:45 at AHS.

On May 17 the five seniors will play in what could be their final game. They’ll have to beat Collinsville in their regional game if they want to continue playing. Luckily, the Redbirds have already beat the Kahoks twice this season.

The three captains were confident heading toward that game.

“We got them. If we play the way we know we can play then we’ll win.”

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