COLLINSVILLE – Sam Stutz was one of the key players for Alton High’s boys’ soccer team in the 2018 season, and he scored the Redbirds only goal, a late equalizer, in the Redbirds’ 2-1 loss Tuesday evening to Quincy in the IHSA Class 3A Regional at Collinsville’s Kahok Stadium, a loss that ended Alton’s season.

Alton played hard to the end, never giving up and kept on striving throughout the entire 80 minutes.

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“Yeah, we played well,” Stutz said in a post-match interview. “That’s probably the hardest we played as a team the entire year. So, I’m proud of everyone, even though it didn’t end as we liked it too. It was a good end to the season, even though we didn’t win.”

Stutz’s goal came in the 76th minute, off a free kick that he headed in.

“Jake Lombardi had a free kick from the middle,” Stutz said. “He played the ball in perfectly, near the PK spot, and I just cleared it over the keeper’s head.”

The Redbirds played particularly well after Braden Schrimpf was sent off in the 71st minute, forcing Alton to play with ten men the rest of the match.

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“It kind of just made me mad, and want to play even harder,” Stutz said. “I felt like we knew we all needed to step up if we wanted to stay in the game, and we did. It was a good effort.”

Stutz is one of ten seniors on the Redbird roster who played their final match, and he’s looking ahead to his future in soccer.

“I’m starting to talk to some coaches,” Stutz said. “I’d like to continue my soccer career in college, but I’m not sure what, yet.”

One of the schools mentioned is Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, a school that’s been a traditional power over the years.

“Lewis and Clark is someone I’ve been talking to,” Stutz said, “and hopefully, that could end up being an option. And I want to keep looking further as well.”

Stutz is very proud of his team and his teammates, who played hard all year.

“I’m proud of our team,” Stutz said, “and even though we didn’t win our last game, we had a solid season.”

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