Cavaliers battle to the bitter end

 Penalty kicks decides sectional championship in Sabres’ favor

By Eric Becker

DECATUR (May 24, 2018) – The Carlinville Cavaliers entered their first ever sectional girls soccer championship Friday at Decatur Lutheran with a load of momentum.

But having dominated the first half against St. Thomas More but unable to score despite a number of chances, the game would end up being decided on penalty kicks.

In the end, the Cavaliers’ season would come to an end as the Sabres outscored Carlinville 4-1 in penalty kicks to finish the season at 16-3-1.

Carlinville got credited for a shutout, its 16th of the season, including one against Jersey in the final regular season game which ended 0-0.

The first half was all about which team could take the momentum. Carlinville had it early and sustained it for most of the first half.

St. More had a shot sail wide in the first three minutes, then Carlinville turned up the heat.

A couple of shots in front had St. Thomas More goalie Brianna Hopper making a save, then Makayla Proctor hit the crossbar with about 24:25 left in the first half of play.

A minute later, Taylor Wills had a shot that was stopped by Hopper.

With 16:30 left in the half, Wills then shot one which hit the left post but failed to get in the back of the net.

With 13:30 left in the half, Proctor against shot one which was tipped by Hopper over the top of the goal to keep the game scoreless.

Then came a penalty kick chance for the Cavies. With 9:48 left in the half, St. Thomas More was called for a handball in the penalty box area.

Wills, who put one home against Warrensburg two days later, shot it but Hopper dived to her right and made the save.

Scoreless at the half, St. Thomas More came out and made some early rushes on goal in the second half. The Cavaliers kicked out a possible chance with 24:43 left in the second half.

Wills followed with a shot which just sailed over the top of the goal with 23:20 left in regulation.

St. Thomas More’s Hayes Murray put a shot on goal at 13:00 which was saved by Sarah DeNeve, and the Sabres just missed a connection off a free kick late in regulation.

The teams played two 10-minute overtime periods to try and decide things. St. More almost got the first goal of the game inside of 30 seconds left in the first overtime.

Off a corner kick, the ball was eventually cleared out by Carlinville as the ball was near the goal line.

After a scoreless second overtime, the game with to penalty kicks.

St. Thomas More’s Murray shot first and got it past DeNeve.

Then the crossbar monster came back and bit the Cavaliers one more time.

Gabby Marchiori’s attempt hit the top of the crossbar to prevent the Cavies from tying the shootout.

Izzy Schmidt put it past the net to make it 2-0, and then the Cavaliers’ Skylar Nickel got the first penalty kick goal for Carlinville to make it 2-1.

After Abby Leibach’s goal made it 3-1, Sydney Bowman had a chance but Hopper came up big again with another save.

The fourth round had Lizzie Younce finding the back of the net, which clinched the sectional title for St. More.

The Sabres (21-4-1) will play Althoff Tuesday in the Columbia Supersectional.

Carlinville outshot the Sabres’ 13-7, with DeNeve making three saves and Hopper making 13 saves in goal.

Carlinville had four fouls to one for St. Thomas More, and had six corner kicks to four for Carlinville.

Carlinville 2, Warrensburg 0

Wednesday, the Cavaliers scored twice in a two minute stretch of the second half to win its first ever girls soccer sectional contest over Warrensburg-Latham.

Both teams missed a couple scoring chances in the first half. Warrensburg off a free kick hit the cross bar with 31:30 left in the first half.

Marchiori countered with a free kick which sailed over the top of the goal.

W-L then had a drive to the net late in the first half, but the shot sailed wide right.

Scoreless at the half, the Cavaliers were able to get two goals in a two-minute period early in the second half.

With 32:10 left, a foul was called in the penalty area against the Cardinals. Wills then pushed the penalty kick past goalie Wilma Tengfors to make it 1-0 Cavaliers.

With 30:06 left, Egelhoff slashed one past Tengfors, assisted by Nickel which made it a 2-0 game.

It was all DeNeve needed to pickup yet another shutout win, making one save in the contest.

Carlinville outshot the Cardinals 7-1 and attempted two corner kicks in the game to none for Warrensburg-Latham.

Carlinville had five fouls to three for the Cardinals.