BETHALTO – Cassie Hall is making her mark for the Civic Memorial High girls’ soccer team.
The freshman forward added to her growing portfolio Tuesday at the Bethalto Sports Complex. She scored a goal and added an assist as CM shaded Highland, 2-1, in a Mississippi Valley Conference contest.
The Eagles improved to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the Valley. The Bulldogs dropped to 1-4-1 and 0-2-1.
“Cassie does what it takes, and she anticipates things and sees the field well,” CM coach Eric Zyung said. “She’s a workhorse.”
Hall, who has accounted for eight goals and two assists in six matches, punched home the tie-breaking score against Highland in the 80th minute. Julie Bruns assisted on the goal. Morgan Wilson of the Eagles tallied in the 43rd minute to tie things after the Bulldogs’ Rebecca Nation scored on a 30-yard blast in the 32nd minute. Hall assisted on Wilson’s goal.
“I’m a little surprised by what I’m doing,” Hall said of her scoring skill. She’s among the point leaders in the St. Louis area.
Hall added, “When I play for a select team, I play defense and I’m usually the ‘stopper’. So it’s totally different now. But it’s a good opportunity for me to play up front.”
Highland coach Josh Oswald said Hall could emerge as a difference-maker.
“She’s a good player – definitely – for a freshman,” he said.
The Bulldogs played without a good player for more than half the match. Top scorer Morgan Sikora was handed a red card with 12 minutes remaining in the half when she collided with CM goalie Samantha Mann near the net.
Highland thus had to go the final 50-plus minutes with 10 players instead of 11.
“We kind of wore down because they (Eagles) found the player disadvantage,” Oswald said. “I’ve been a goalie my whole life and I thought we shouldn’t have gotten a red card on that play. It was a foul, but I don’t feel it was even a yellow card.”
Zyung figured sooner or later the Eagles would benefit from having one more player on the field.
“We tried to wear them down by putting pressure on their back line,” he said. “We wanted to improve our spacing to get more attackers and we did that. Our defense was outstanding, too.”
Mann, absorbing another goal collision with less than 23 minutes to go, had to leave after suffering sore ribs. Kaity Kappler replaced her as the keeper and kept Highland from scoring again. Then Hall’s goal decided it and sent the Eagles home happy.
“She’s strong and tenacious,” Zyung said of Hall.
CM proved persistent in the second half, getting five shots on goal and two scores.
“It’s always good to get a conference win and it’s very good to get a win over a quality team like Highland,” Zyung said.
Next up for the Eagles is date with Valley favorite Triad on Thursday. It’s set to start at 5:30 p.m. The Knights are 3-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference. They own a 3-0 win over Highland.
CM 2, HIGHLAND 1
Highland 1 0 – 1
CM 0 2 – 2
H – Rebecca Nation (unassisted), 31:31
CM – Morgan Wilson (Cassie Hall), 42:02
CM – Hall (Julie Bruns), 79:50
Shots: CM 7, Highland 4
Corner kicks: Highland 3, CM 2
Saves: Johnson (Highland) 3, Mann and Kappler (CM) 1