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BELLEVILLE - The Father McGivney Catholic High School boy's soccer team left it all out on the field Tuesday night against the Columbia Eagles in the Class 1A Sectional Semifinals held at Althoff Catholic High School.

The Griffins were defeated by a score of 2-0 as their season comes to a close with a 15-8-2 record.

On a cold and windy evening, the Griffins and Eagles played a thrilling first half that ended 0-0. Columbia came flying out of the gate, but McGivney weathered the early storm and started having some chances of their own.

Their best chance of the half was when junior defender Noah Garner crossed in a ball toward senior forward Daniel Gierer. He headed the ball with a lot of power but it went wide of the goal in the final minute of the half.

10 minutes into the second half, Columbia broke the tie. Senior goalkeeper Sam Chouinard came sprinting off his goal line and collided with a Columbia forward inside the 18-yard box. After some controversy, it was called a penalty kick.

Senior midfielder Cam Ellner stepped up to the kick and scored to make it 1-0 Eagles. He shot right as Chouinard dove left.

"It just took the wind out of our sails," McGivney head coach Matthew McVicar said postgame about the PK. "It took our momentum out of the game."

Senior midfielder Jack Steckler scored his 26th goal of the season to double Columbia's lead in the 62nd minute.

Shortly after that, the Griffins had some more chances of their own but to no avail.

This game had been very close and physical throughout. Each team had committed some fouls, but no cards were handed out.

That's why when senior midfielder Owen Terrell was given a straight red card with 10 minutes remaining, McGivney's bench and fans were enraged.

The call came after a slide tackle and some words with the referee. So, the Griffins had to play a man down for the final 10 minutes.

Time eventually ran out and Columbia won by a score of 2-0. They'll meet Althoff in the Sectional Finals on Friday night.

Columbia was a team that McGivney lost 6-0 to in their very first game of the season, having to play a man down in that game as well. McVicar was not displeased with his boys' performance in the Sectional Semifinal game.

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'We learned a lot about ourselves and we just continued to get better. We had a successful year. I'm proud of the team," he said.

"Next season starts tomorrow."


MATTOON - Senior forward Bryce Davis wants to play on his home field at least one more time. He's now one win away from doing so.

"That's absolutely the goal," CM head coach Derek Jarman said about being able to play on Hauser Field at least one more time.

His five-goal performance led the way in an 8-0 win over Effingham in the Regional Semifinals in Mattoon Tuesday night.

Other goals were scored by Ethan Miller, Tyler Wilson, and Brayden Zyung. Assists came from Joe Aiello who had four, Zyung with two, and Aj Garrett and Talan Miller each with one.

The long bus ride and chilly temperatures didn't slow down the Eagles whatsoever.

CM led 7-0 at the half, with Davis scoring the first goal and the last four of the half. The time was cut in half to just a 20-minute second half per the IHSA mercy rule.

Ryan Halley started in goal, playing the first half and earning the shutout win. Devyn Ambrose helped earn that shutout as he played the 20-minute second half.

The huge win sets CM up for a Regional Final game against Mattoon. The Green Wave beat Charleston 2-1 to earn their spot in this game and will play host.

"We have a big test on Friday," Jarman said. "I know Mattoon has a good keeper and one of the best coaches in the state."

CM heads into that game with a 22-4 record while Mattoon is 12-10-1. The two teams played one another in their season opener back on August 22. CM won that game by a score of 3-1.


Wednesday, October 19

  • Alton vs. Edwardsville in Class 3A Regional Semifinals @ Collinsville 7 p.m.
    • Edwardsville won both meetings in the regular season by scores of 2-0 at EHS on 9/1 and 1-0 at AHS on 9/22.
  • Marquette vs. Jersey in Class 2A Regional Semifinals @ Triad 7 p.m.
    • The Explorers (16-5) have not played the Panthers (8-14) this season.

Friday, October 21

  • CM vs. Mattoon in Class 2A Regional Final @ Mattoon 5 p.m.

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