BETHALTO — The Civic Memorial Eagles girls' soccer team spoiled the day for the Mascoutah Indians, beating them 4-1 in Mississippi Valley Conference action on Wednesday at the Bethalto Sports Complex.
The matchup seemed to be even on paper with physical play on both sides, but the Eagles win improved them to 5-5 overall and 2-3 in the MVC, while the Indians dropped to 5-4 and 2-2 on the league slate.
The Eagles didn't waste any time scoring early in the first half, going up by a goal with just over a minute burned off the clock. Freshman Cassie Hall connected with forward Morgan Wilson to bury the first goal.
The Eagles continued with offensive pressure to add some distance from the Indians. Senior Julie Bruns found junior McKenzie Dixon in the right place at the right time to make the score 2-0 with just under seven minutes into play.
CM wouldn't stop there.
Bruns added her second assist of the game when she located Hall in front of the net to make it 3-0 midway through the first half. The Indians defense then kicked into gear and closed the Eagles down until the break.
"Our defense is good every day," CM head coach Eric Zyung said. "They give maximum effort all the time and have great communication. We have three strong senior leaders on defense and it helps to have that experience on the back line. We've had a rough couple of games, but today we moved the ball really well on offense. Our girls on offense are relentless. When we're relentless we get first touches and create chances and we force mistakes from our opponents."
The second half brought a revived Mascoutah team onto the field after a mid-game pep talk from head coach Nick Carr.
Freshman Destiny Strong took a pass from junior Rylee Cravens to find the back of the net to put the Indians on the board just four minutes into the half, cutting it 3-1.
"First half we didn't play like we were prepared," Carr said. "We gave up that goal in the first minute and a half and a second just a few minutes later; we just looked like we weren't ready to play. The second half the girls relaxed and really played up to their ability. We were able to get a goal on the board and kept the Eagles to one goal in the second half. We put in some younger players to get some experience and it was our freshman on the field that put a goal on the board for us. We made a goal keeper change and relaxed a bit."
CM's second-half tally came when senior Andra Myers took a free kick beyond the 18-yard box. The kick connected with Hall for her second goal of the game for the Eagles to produce the final score of 4-1.
The pair of goals brought the freshman Hall's season total to a team-leading 11. She has 24 total points with a pair of assists to boot.
The Eagles have a lot to look forward to in their season.
"We just found out that we're going to host regionals this year," Zyung said. "We are really excited about that. We're going to have some great soccer and we have a nice facility to host regional play."
The Eagles travel to Jerseyville on Monday for more conference action against the host Panthers at 4:15 p.m. Civic Memorial will face off with the East Alton-Wood River Oilers on Tuesday at home with a 4:15 p.m. kick off.