ALTON - Marquette Catholic senior midfielder Aela Scruggs has seen a thing or two in her high school soccer career. A thing she's become accustomed to seeing is success.

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A three-year varsity player, since her freshman year was cancelled due to the pandemic, Aela has seen that success personally and with her team.

As a primary central midfielder for the team, she racked up 22 goals through three seasons, with 12 so far her senior year. She also nabbed 14 assists in her career.

For her success on the soccer field, Aela is a Tucker's Automotive Repair & Tire Athlete of the Month for the Explorers.

As a team, the Explorers boast an overall record of 46-17-6 the last three seasons, and have made waves in the postseason each time.

Her team reached the Super-Sectional her sophomore season and have won Regional Championships in her junior and senior seasons, most recently in an 8-0 win over Carlinville, clinching the program's 13th title.

Aela said that this year was her favorite of the bunch when it comes to postseason successes.

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"I think this year because it's my senior year," she said. "It's my last year and I get to be with my best friends."

She celebrated that title with her best friends on their home field at Gordon Moore Park before heading to graduation later that night and walking across the stage at Lewis and Clark's Hatheway Hall.

"It's great to have all my family and friends and our fans cheering us on," Aela said after the win Friday afternoon.

The home fans got to watch Marquette score a combined 20 goals in the first two postseason games this season after a 12-0 win over Gillespie and 8-0 over Carlinville.

"It feels good because earlier in the year we took teams that we should've lightly and this time we took it to them and short-gamed them in the first half," Aela said.

The win over Carlinville set up a Sectional Semifinal re-match with Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin tomorrow, Tuesday, May 16 at Riverton Middle School at 4:30 p.m.

The two teams met last postseason and Marquette suffered a 1-0 defeat.

Aela doesn't plan to let it happen again.

"I feel like we just need to be smart about it, not take the games lightly, and yet again score tons of goals," she said.

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