BELLEVILLE – Haley Glover had a first half hat trick, while Fae Harrell had a brace (two goals) and Kennedy Jones also found the back of the net in a six-goal first half for Columbia, as the Eagles defeated Marquette Catholic 6-1 in the IHSA Class 1A girls soccer sectional semifinal at Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville.

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Glover scored the Eagles’ first three goals in a span on 18 minutes, starting in the second minute off a good through ball in the midfield and put the ball inside the near post and into net to give Columbia the lead at 1-0. Glover doubled the Columbia lead after six minutes off of a scramble in the front of the Explorer goal, and completed her hat trick in the 18th minute, taking a long throw in by Jenna Jackson to score, making it 3-0 for the Eagles. The third goal came after Marquette had apparently made it 2-1 on a goal from Emma Anslem, but wasn’t given because of offside.

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Jones made it 4-0 for the Eagles in the 27th minute, taking a good pass from the midfield and finding the back of the net when the goalie came off her line to stop the play. Harrell made it 5-0 in the 28th minute off a deflection that landed just inside the bar and into the roof of the net. Harrell then scored from the penalty spot just before the half hour to make it 6-0.

The Eagles had some chances in the second half, but Marquette were able to turn the chances back, and then in the 63rd minute, Madelyn Smith won a ball in the midfield, broke in and scored to make the score 6-1, which turned out to be the full time score.

Columbia improves to 23-2-1 on the season and face the host Crusaders, a 4-0 winner over Breese Mater Dei Catholic in the other semifinal, on Friday for in the sectional final, with a 6 p.m. kickoff. The Explorers, who at one point were 0-9-1, finish the season at 10-11-1.

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