ALTON – The Marquette Catholic High School girl’s soccer team hosted their Gateway Metro Conference (GMC) rivals Father McGivney Griffins Thursday afternoon out at Gordon Moore Park.

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It was a 2-0 win for the Explorers as they improve to 3-1 on the season, all three wins being shutouts for Marquette.

“It’s a pretty simple formula, if you can keep the ball out of the back of your net, you have a better chance to win,” Marquette head coach Brian Hoener said.

He is pleased with his team’s defensive effort to start the season.

“We did a good job from our back line to our goalkeeper. Really, even starting up top, I thought our forwards and midfielders did a very good job defending the spaces we wanted to today.”

This game Thursday was mostly Marquette. Both teams got out kind of slow, but things progressively opened up for the Explorers.

In the 9th minute, sophomore forward Ella Anselm had the best shot so far, but it was saved by McGivney’s sophomore keeper Karpenter Farmer. Another Marquette chance went high and wide in the 24th minute.

After being denied earlier, Anselm did eventually find the back of the net in the 34th minute to take the 1-0 lead. She got the ball, beat some defenders on the run, and put it bottom right corner for her seventh goal of the season.

Coming back into the second half, senior midfielder Caroline Stephan had a shot hit the bar. Shortly after that, in the 49th minute, the ball came back to her and she rocketed it into the back of the net to double the lead. It was her third goal of the season.

Nearly 10 minutes later, sophomore midfielder Chloe Roberts almost scored directly from a corner kick. She delivered an in-swinging ball toward the back post and thanks to a little bit of help from the wind, she nailed the crossbar, but the ball stayed out.

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The game finished 2-0 Marquette with the Griffins having little to no chances on goal.

Marquette senior goalie Hannah Marshall wasn’t called upon much. She recorded four saves en route to her third shutout of the year.

“I’m pleased; I thought we played well,” coach Hoener said.

“I thought we played the way we wanted to play. Would’ve liked to get a few more opportunities toward goal, but defensively I thought we did a very good job. We have a couple girls banged up, a couple girls out, so we had some new players that had to step in, and I thought they did a fantastic job for us.”

A little over two weeks into the season and this was just Marquette’s fourth game of the year thanks to an earlier scheduled Metro Cup Showcase game getting canceled due to the cold and another game against Maryville Christian postponed because of wet field conditions.

It was 70 degrees and sunny at kick-off Thursday afternoon.

“We haven’t played that many games, so it was nice to go out there and play a good, competitive game. Father McGivney is a very good team,” Hoener added.

The Griffins haven’t had the best go of it to start the season as they slip to 2-4-2.

Marquette improves to 1-0 in the GMC while Father McGivney sits at 1-1. These teams will meet again this season at McGivney at 4:30 p.m. on April 25, most likely with a regular-season conference title on the line.

The Explorers will be back in action on Saturday, April 1 when they host Duchesne at 11 a.m.

As for the Griffins, they’ll play again at home on Monday, April 3, at 4:30 p.m. against Hillsboro.

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