BELLEVILLE – The Father McGivney Catholic High School girls soccer team defeated the Roxana High School Shells Wednesday night (May 11) by a score of 5-2 in their postseason game.
The Griffins will now advance to the Regional Championship game where they will meet the No. 1 seeded Althoff Catholic High School Crusaders.
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The Griffins had already beat Roxana twice in the regular season but they went into this one forgetting about those two previous matchups.
“It’s always hard to beat a team three games in a season,” Griffins head coach Matthew McVicar said after the win. “You can never have the mindset that it’s going to be easy,”
The game started off as a back and forth affair with both teams having to put up with a 100-degree heat index right at kickoff.
The Griffins struck first in the 17th minute. Freshman defender Devin Ellis stepped up to a freekick from about 20 yards out. She curled it off of her right foot and put it off the post and in to make it 1-0.
“Devin has been a rockstar for us all year coming in as a freshman. She’s been an asset to us,” McVicar said about his center back.
“Those kicks were phenomenal and I’m really proud of her,” the coach finished with.
McGivney doubled their lead in the 25th minute when freshman Elana Rybak cleaned up a rebound on a shot from junior Adelyn Speight. Rybak put it away easily and doubled their lead.
Speight would be the one to make it 3-0 late in the first half. She received a pass and seemed to be wide open. With no one marking her, she was able to take a touch and release a clean shot right past Roxana’s goalkeeper, junior Kaylyn Dixon.
Shortly after that, the Shells found themselves trailing 3-0 at halftime.
Roxana didn’t just give up. In the 51st minute, there was a mad scramble for the ball inside the 18-yard box. Finally, the ball landed at the feet of sophomore Reagan Lynn who knocked it home and made it a 3-1 ball game giving the Shells hope.
That hope didn’t last very long though. Nine minutes later junior Claire Stanhaus made it 4-1 Father McGivney.
But still, Roxana didn’t have an ounce of quit in them. A couple of minutes later junior Kendall Kamp scored a beautiful right-footed volley from about 25 yards out and once again made it just a two-goal game. She led her team in goals this season finishing with an even 20.
Roxana tried their hardest to get back into the game, but Father McGivney stayed the course. In the 68th minute, Ellis scored her second of the game. She was awarded another free-kick and she once again delivered, curling another shot into the top corner. That goal made it 5-2 and slammed the door shut on the Shells, ending their season.
Even though their season is over, Roxana head coach Lori Yates said she couldn’t be prouder of her girls for giving it everything they had.
The Griffins will take on Althoff at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 13, in the Regional Championship game.
“We haven’t played Althoff but we’re aware of what they are capable of and the scores they have been putting up,” McVicar said looking ahead to the next game.
The Crusaders finished the regular season 17-5-2. They just came off of a 16-0 win over East Alton Wood River, a scoreline that is meant to intimidate and send a message.
“It’s going to be a challenge for us, and we know that going in,” McVicar said. “But, in order to go anywhere, further in the playoffs, we’re going to have to face teams at this caliber and we’re only going to get better by playing teams like this.”
“That’s why we play the games, anything can happen.”