By Mark Jurgena, Reporter
The Collinsville soccer team ended their regular season last Thursday with a resounding 3-0 shutout over St. Mary’s.
The south St. Louis school came to Illinois ranked #6 in the stltoday.com small school poll.
“That is a big win. They’ve had a really good year so for us to play well and get that victory, it was huge for our ending of the year and setting up for the playoffs,” said CHS coach Rob Lugge.
After a scoreless 1st half, Kahok Anthony Coppotelli broke the deadlock in the 51st minute with a header that went high over the St. Mary’s goalie. Yahir Figueroa got the assist on the corner kick from the left side.
“They’ve had a good offensive year that two weeks ago started to be great. We’ve won a few games in a row now and that’s because they really stepped up their game. Once they started putting the ball in the net our year really turned around,” Lugge said of Coppotelli and Figueroa.
Minutes later CHS capitalized on an aggressive mistake from the St. Mary’s goalie as he wandered near the top of the goal box. Aiden Hensler rocketed the loose ball into the empty net for a 2-0 lead.
Finally, Tadd Baker added an insurance goal with 40 seconds to play. Figueroa fought to maintain possession of the ball, left it for Baker who used his right foot from 25 yards out to hit the lower corner of the net.
One great Kahok play came late in the 1st half when St. Mary’s was awarded a penalty kick. Collinsville’s goalie Logan Rader made a diving stop to his right to preserve the 0-0 tie.
“Logan’s a really good goalkeeper especially when it comes to penalty kicks. We practice penalty kicks four to five times a week. It’s something we do at the end of practice. He just does a great job when it cones to that,” Lugge said.
The Kahoks stood at 12-8 at the close of the regular season. The win was their seventh in a row. St. Mary’s fell to 11-5-1.
CHS moved into the IHSA Class 4A regional semifinals in O’Fallon this past Tuesday night. They met the Maroons of Belleville West for the third time this season. CHS had won both the previous matches this season. Results were unavailable at press time.
The title game will be Saturday in O’Fallon at 6:00 p.m against the winner of Tuesday’s other semifinal game between O’Fallon and Belleville East.
“That whole regional, I think that any of the four teams if they have a good couple of games, they can win it,” said Lugge.