All season long, senior Ashleigh Briggs and sophomores Grace Neidhardt and Lexi Grote have provided scoring punch for the Granite City girls' soccer team.
The Warriors scored 34 goals as a team and Briggs, Neidhardt and Grote combined to score 24 of them. Briggs finished with eight goals and nine assists for a team-high 25 points, Neidhardt was the team leader in goals with 10 and Grote finished with six goals.
The strong efforts helped Briggs, Neidhardt, Grote earn spots on the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association all-sectional team. Briggs and Neidhardt earned first-team honors and Grote was named on the honorable mention team. There are 31 players on the first team and 20 players on the honorable mention squad.
All-sectional teams are divided into 14 sections. Briggs, Neidhardt and Grote were named on the Section 12 team, which is comprised of players from the Metro-East and Southern Illinois areas. A total of 17 players from the Southwestern Conference earned all-sectional honors.
The IHSSCA also selects an all-state team. Mara Keomanivane, who is currently playing with the Stetson University women's soccer team, was the last Granite City player to earn all-state honors in 2012.
Grote and Neidhardt became the first Granite City sophomores to be named on the all-sectional team since Keomanivane in 2010.
Neidhardt, who earned all-sectional honors for the first time, scored three goals against Highland on April 29 at Gene Baker Field. She also scored goals in matches against Triad, Nerinx Hall, Lafayette, Sussex (Wis.) Hamilton, West Des Moines Valley and Alton.
Grote, who also made her first appearance on the all-sectional team, scored three goals against Columbia Hickman on April 4.
Briggs, who played with the Granite City girls' soccer team all four years, earned all-sectional honors for the second straight year. She was named on the honorable mention team in 2014.
Briggs scored goals in contests against Glenwood, Nerinx Hall, O’Fallon, Belleville West, Edwardsville, Sussex Hamilton, Dunlap and Alton.
Granite City coach Kenny Prazma said one of Briggs’ biggest strengths this season was making the corner kick.
“Ashleigh is terrific when it comes to corner kicks and deadballs all over the place,” he said. “She can put it just about anywhere she wants, unless she's kind of tired.”
Briggs, Neidhardt and Grote helped the Warriors finish 11-9-2 and capture their first regional championship since 2011. They also were named on the all-Southwestern Conference girls' soccer team.