ALTON — The Alton Redbird girls' soccer team honored their seniors just before taking the field against the Belleville West Maroons for their last home game of the regular season on Thursday.
Unfortunately, West left the Redbirds marooned 4-0 in Southwestern Conference action at Gordon Moore Park on Thursday with early goals in both the first and second half.
The Redbirds slipped to 4-11-1 and 0-6 in the conference while strong efforts from the Maroons improve their record to 15-3-3 to put them in second place in the SWC with a 4-1-1 mark behind Collinsville.
"We came out with a steady performance tonight," West head coach Jason Mathenia said. "We've talked all week about being playoff ready in our last regular season game. Coming out hard and strong early in both halves, I have to give all the credit to our girls for keeping to that part of our game plan."
The Redbirds were forced to go on defense quickly against the Maroons when West senior Sydnee Carroll attacked the goal early in the first half with a score off an assist by Amelia Coyne to put Alton behind in just the third minute of the game.
Constant pressure by the Maroons' offense put the Redbirds backs against the wall. Sophomore Jamie Adams found the back of Alton's net with a header past senior keeper Brittany Storey off of a West corner kick in the 13th minute. Adams was assisted by senior Carli Tastad from the corner kick.
The Maroons didn't give the Redbirds time to catch their breath before adding their third goal of the game off the foot of Coyne, assisted by Carroll to give them a 3-0 lead going into halftime.
"Our first 40 minutes were really poor," Alton head coach Laura Ridolfi said. "I hate to say it, but that was probably the worst 40 minutes I've seen them play this whole season and maybe even the past couple of years. This game was certainly out of character for them. It's disappointing because I know they're better than that. I hope this puts a little chip on their shoulder to head into next week's regional games."
The second-half tone was set quickly with a West goal by freshman Taylor Mathenia, assisted by sophomore Lauren Siebert to give the Maroons a 4-0 lead. The Redbirds finally left the nest and put pressure on their guests, but several scoring opportunities were taken away by the West defense and goalkeeper Bailey Redden.
"Tonight was our senior night and for them you want to end it on a high note," Ridolfi said. "Win, lose or draw, that's the most important part. The second half got better, the last 15 to 20 minutes of the game we finally got some scoring opportunities and we made better decisions. This isn't their last game and I hope they take what happened today and the last time we played Granite City with the 1-0 loss and bring it into regionals next week and hope that it will give us some momentum to battle on Tuesday."
The Redbirds will face off with the Granite City Warriors in the Class 3A Edwardsville Regional semifinals at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The Maroons will battle O'Fallon at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday to begin the O'Fallon Regional.
BELLEVILLE WEST 4, ALTON 0
BELLEVILLE WEST — Sydnee Carroll 1 goal 3:00, 1 assist, Jamie Adams 1 goal 13:00, Amelia Coyne 1 goal 14:00, 1 assist, Taylor Mathenia 1 goal, Lauren Siebert 1 assist, Carli Tastad 1 assist
Bailey Redden: 4 saves 0 goals allowed
ALTON — Brittany Storey: 6 saves 4 goals allowed