BETHALTO -- The Civic Memorial Eagles earned a non-conference victory on Monday night against the East Alton-Wood River Oilers behind a strong performance from junior midfielder Kaleb Bassett.
Bassett turned in a hat trick in the 4-1 win. The midfielder has 23 goals and four hat tricks this season.
“It’s a nice rivalry game, a hard fought game,” Bassett said. “I thought we played pretty well. We have some things we need to improve on, but it was a win we deserved.”
CM improved to 7-8 with the victory.
Bassett gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead by scoring two goals in the first half. He scored again in the second half with 12:46 left to play in the contest to give CM a 4-1 lead.
In his third goal, the junior broke away from the pack and scored from approximately 22-yards out.
“He (Bassett) comes to work every day in terms of doing what he needs to do,” CM coach Derek Jarman said. “He makes every single player on the team better. He has that winning attitude. When he gets off of the bus or sits on the bench he wants to compete for 80 minutes and he wants to win a game.”
Trevor Panyik also scored a goal for the Eagles. His goal with 20 minutes left in the first half gave CM a 3-0 halftime lead.
“I would say we controlled the ball a little bit,” Jarmen said. “The score is not indicative of the play. They outplayed us in the first 15 minutes and they got some unlucky hops. They could have been up 2-0 and we would have not have known what hit us. It woke our guys up a little bit. Thankfully, it wasn’t 2-0. Some of these games we find ourselves behind the eight ball. You’re down 2-0 and you’re on the verge of being buried. Tonight they missed a couple of opportunities. We woke up and took advantage of a bad hop. We got three goals in a row that spurred our offense a little bit.”
EA-WR dropped to 10-8. Coach Mike Lawson said the contest was closer than the score indicated.
“If you watch the whole first half, we have an open header six-yards out from the goal and we put it wide,” Lawson said. “We have two breakaways and we miss them both. They counter and our goalie misses the first one, unlucky. The second one the kid hits a good shot and the third one is not marking up on the back post. They counterattacked well, that’s a good way of saying it and our blunders did not help.”
Lawson said he thought his team provided pressure on CM throughout the whole first half.
“We had the better ball possession, better movement and better opportunities,” he said. “It’s been the story of our year. The other teams have finished things and we have not finished things.”
Jordan Schmidgall scored the Oilers’ lone goal. With 16:50 left to play, Schmidgall fired a shot that was deflected off CM goalkeeper Jacoby Robinson. Schmidgall then scored off the deflection to end the Eagles’ shutout hopes.
Before Schmidgall scored, the Oilers had several chances to score, but they couldn’t convert. Midway in the second half, forward Luke Sims fired off two shots, one was saved by Robinson and the other one sailed over the goal. Robinson also made a save on a shot by Schmidgall with 17:10 left to play.
The Eagles will play a road match against Triad at 5:30 tomorrow. EA-WR will return to action on 7:30 p.m. Wednesday against Marquette Catholic at Gordon Moore Park.