Devon Gilreath uses his footwork to weave through Roxana's defense Wednesday in the Class 1A Metro East Lutheran Regional semifinals.
Cameron Foust, Devon Gilreath and Skylar Southard congratulate David Barrett on his second hat trick of the season on Wednesday at Metro East Lutheran.
EDWARDSVILLE — In a mud slinging Class 1A Metro East Lutheran Regional semifinal matchup, the East Alton-Wood River Oilers derailed Roxana on Wednesday in Edwardsville.
EA-WR defeated the Shells 7-1 to end their season. The Oilers advance to the regional finals at 7 p.m. on Saturday at MELHS vs. the top seeded Greenville Comets. The Comets bested the regional host Knights, seeded fourth, by the score of 2-0 in the early game Wednesday.
EA-WR and Greenville faced off during the regular season with the Oilers coming away with a 4-2 victory.
The MELHS field was in a horrid condition Wednesday due to the amount of rain fall in the area over the last week and players struggled to stay on their feet.
"We hoped we could play tonight's game on the Edwardsville field on the turf, or even reschedule for another day," Roxana head coach Steve Dohnal said. "Wood River played in the same conditions we did, they're a really good team. I have to admit the better team won. We're ending a rebuilding year with a young team with a record of 4-9-3, We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we play a solid 80 minutes and don't quit."
The Oilers have enjoyed the spoils of their hard work for the past two seasons and have hopes to go deep into the postseason this year.
"We made some changes tonight, we have players who are trying new positions so we can begin to think ahead for next year," EA-WR coach Mike Lawson said. "We had a player transfer out of district in the middle of the season and that allowed some opportunities for players like Cameron Foust and Devon Gilreath to change positions. Devon is in a position to move up and use more field and Cameron has shown he can make things happen anywhere. David Barrett has really stepped up this season and has had great movement. He's showing patience and that's needed to be a good scorer. We just need to capitalize on our opportunities."
Returning from injury for the Oilers Wednesday were senior Brennan Augustyn and junior David Barrett. Both were out with an injured foot for a couple of games.
Barrett and Augustyn shared an assist on the first goal of the game scored by Dalton Miller in the beginning half at 25:49. Augustyn punched the second goal in for the Oilers at 22:26 with an assist by Gilreath.
Barrett scored the second hat trick of his career before halftime with goals at 17:02, 4:54 and returning quickly with his third goal just 30 seconds later at 4:27 with assists by Gilreath, Foust and Miller. The Oilers comfortably led the Shells 5-0 at the break.
"Being moved up from a defensive position has been fun," Foust said. "It's a different outlook, one I haven't seen since playing rec ball before high school. I like the opportunity to get up to the front and have scoring chances again."
The Oilers changed up their rotation to give the underclassmen some postseason experience in the second half, replacing junior Nick Barrett in goal with freshman D.J. Redden.
Junior Josh Turner set the tone early for the Oilers by hitting the back of the Shells' net with an assist by Foust at 36:02.
The Shells would finally light up the scoreboard with a goal from sophomore Tyler Spano with an assist from Kyle Dewerff with 3:20 left on the clock.
The Oilers proved they were not finished on offense though when sophomore Zack Lafferty scored on an assist from freshman Ashton Murray with just 2:50 remaining in the game.
"Our varsity and JV players are mixing it up well," EA-WR assistant coach Jesse Daniels said. "We're making good decisions and we're getting good touches on the ball."