Marquette senior Matt Buchheit works the ball past EA-WR junior Cameron Foust on Wednesday at Gordon Moore Park.
Oiler goalkeeper Nick Barrett dives to knock a Marquette shot away for one of his 13 saves in the first half vs. the Explorers.
ALTON — The East Alton-Wood River Oilers wished they could have faced the Marquette Catholic Explorers a week or two ago after falling 7-0 on Marquette's Senior Night on Wednesday at Gordon Moore Park.
The Oilers found themselves without two key players, senior and team assist leader Brennan Augustyn, and junior forward David Barrett. Augustyn and Barrett both were out with foot injuries.
"We came in today bruised up and they're a really good team," said EA-WR head coach Mike Lawson. "Our bench isn't really deep enough to recover from key injuries. I feel that if we were able to play our starters, the outcome may not have been different, but we definitely would've been in the game."
The Explorers started the evening off at mid field as they celebrated their seniors in their final regular home game of the year. Marquette will return home for the Class 2A Marquette Regional at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 against Jerseyville.
Marquette head coach Jeremy Sanfilippo decided to play his seniors extensively for Senior Night, leaving them for the second half after building a comfortable lead at the break.
"I really wanted to keep my seniors in their last home game," Sanfilippo said. "They had family and friends here to watch them and some of these guys have played for me all four years."
The first half looked like a struggle for the Oilers to hold back the Explorers. Sophomore Zach Weinman of Marquette, assisted by senior Matt Buchheit, punched a goal past Oiler goalkeeper Nick Barrett with 19:25 burned off the clock to go up 1-0.
Marquette didn't wait long to solidify that initial goal, backing it up with a score by senior Nate Siener, assisted by senior Caleb McClintock just 30-seconds later.
Junior Adam Johnes received a pass from Buchheit on a free kick that resulted in Johnes heading the ball past Barrett in the 24th minute of the first half, bringing the score to 3-0 for the Explorers.
Marquette sophomore Jon Stewart was assisted by Buchheit, for his third assist in the first half, as Stewart put up the last goal for the Explorers in the first half with Marquette leading 4-0 at the break.
The Oilers looking toward next week's Class 1A MELHS Regional, benched most of their starters for the second half and gave the underclassmen some play experience. EA-WR begins its postseason by facing the Roxana Shells at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Metro-East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville.
Barrett had 13 saves in the first half before freshman D.J. Redden took over in goal for the Oilers.
In the second half the Explorers extended their lead over the Oilers when Buchheit switched from assisting to scoring.
Senior Daniel Hartzell sent the ball to Buchheit and he nailed a shot past Redden in the 53rd minute. Buchheit raised his game stats again when he gave his last assist of the game to Weinman for his second goal in the 56th minute of play.
Not to be outdone, Buchheit put up the final score for the Explorers in the 59th minute to reach the final score of 7-0 off an assist by junior Collin Dunn.
"Tonight was a good night for me, four assists and two goals, that's cool," said Buchheit. "This is how I hoped go to out. I probably won't be playing soccer in college, but I've played since I was like three years old. I know I'll miss the guys, the fans and the atmosphere after this season."
Sanfilippo was thrilled with his players' performances against their long-time rivals. The Explorers took a hard 1-0 loss to the Oilers last year and that was their driving force for the Senior Night matchup.
"I feel we had a little bit of payback tonight from last year's loss," Sanfilippo said. "I just wanted my guys to come out and win the game with their feet, not by overrunning our goalkeeper like Wood River did ours last year."