ALTON – The Marquette Catholic High School girl’s soccer team hosted the Freeburg Midgets Wednesday night at Gordon Moore Park. The result saw the Explorers suffer their first tie of the season.

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The word suffer is used because the game could have been a win if it wasn’t for a 76th-minute equalizer from Freeburg. After a close 80 minutes of play, the whistle blew for a 1-1 draw.

It was a windy evening out at Gordon Moore, with the gusts at Marquette’s back in the first half. The Explorers used that to their advantage and dominated possession early on, leading to the breakthrough.

Eleanor Tiemann didn’t give up on a loose ball and kept going with it toward the touchline. She got off a low-driven cross before going out of bounds right into the six-yard box. Taking the ball with her back to the goal was Aela Scruggs who made the turn and put the go-ahead goal in the back of the net in the 22nd minute.

“She’s been fantastic for us,” Marquette head coach Brian Hoener said about the goal scorer.

“It’s a hard finish because she brought it down and she wasn’t facing the goal, she had to turn with her off foot and face the goal and find the corner and she did that. That’s a good, quality finish,” he added about Scruggs’ goal.

Right after the kick-off, the Explorers got the ball back and had a great chance when Emma Dempsey’s shot rang off the crossbar.

It was all Marquette in the first half, but the script was flipped in the game’s second frame. The Midgets started having some good looks in the opening minutes of the second half, calling upon Marquette keeper Hannah Marshall to make some saves.

Marquette could’ve doubled the lead but instead found woodwork for the second time when Ella Anselm’s shot rattled off the crossbar in the 52nd minute.

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The culmination of the game saw Freeburg with a lot of possession, which led to the game-tying goal in the 76th minute from Kylie Kisgen.

“It’s frustrating, but you’ve got to play all 80 and they’re a good team,” Hoener said of Freeburg.

“They battled, competed, and found themselves in a good spot. It’s not like we defended the situation poorly, sometimes you just don’t catch a break here and there.”

“I like the way we played, this was a good soccer game, good playoff-type feel, two very good teams playing, two even teams,” Hoener continued.

“I have no complaints with the way we played, just wish we could’ve made one or two more plays to put ourselves in a position to go up.”

Scruggs’ goal was her seventh of the season, which is second on the team behind Anselm (17), who was well-marked all game by the Freeburg defense. This season, the Explorers have seen 16 different goal scorers.

“We’re getting opportunities from different players which is great, and I think we’re creating good scoring chances, just a little bit unlucky to be honest with you tonight,” Hoener finished up with.

With the result the Explorers go to 11-2-1 on the season, while the Midgets go to 9-3-1, their first draw of the season as well.

Now, Marquette will shift its attention to Friday for a non-conference rivalry game against the Alton Redbirds. The game is set to kick off at 6:45 p.m. at Public School Stadium.

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