By MARK JURGENA
The three-peat. Ridiculously difficult to do in any sport at any time. To do it in boys soccer in the Southwestern Conference is quite an accomplishment.
That’s what the Collinsville boys soccer team did last week as they gained a share of the SWC crown with a 4-0 home victory over Alton. They backed that up by winning the conference outright with a 1-0 win at Belleville East.
In a quirk of society, CHS won the conference twice in 2021. They won the COVID-induced spring season and then also won the fall edition of conference play. This year’s title marks their third straight.
“I am very proud of the boys’ commitment to each other and our game plan,” said Collinsville coach Rob Lugge. “Their ability to play for each other is the major reason for our success. Winning games in our conference is very difficult and their ability to be consistent day in and day out amazes me.”
After winning a share of the crown two nights earlier, the Kahoks boarded the bus for a road contest with a solid Belleville East squad on October 6th.
Collinsville fought hard and got a goal from Adam Reiniger early in the second half and made it stand up as they beat the Lancers 1-0.
“East played very well, were organized, and worked very hard,” said Lugge. “We needed to be at our best to win that game. Winning at East is difficult, but the boys found a way.”
Reiniger knocked home his 20th goal of the season thanks to an assist from Sam Garofalo.
Nick Horras was in goal for Collinsville and recorded his 7th shutout of the year by collecting four saves.
After the contest, the Kahoks moved to 15-2-2 on the year and 9-0 in the SWC. East dropped to 11-4 overall and 7-3 in conference play. The Lancers had already secured a second-place finish in loop action.
With a share of the conference title on the line, it was all Collinsville as the Kahoks left no doubt during a 4-0 win over Alton on October 4th.
Reiniger had two goals for CHS while Trey Peterson and Bryson Bode had one each. Peterson also picked up an assist on the evening as did Landon Mahat and Chris Munoz.
Horras was in goal for Collinsville again for the shutout win.
-The boys soccer team had won 18 regular season contests in a row in SWC play prior to Tuesday’s contest at O’Fallon (results from that contest were unavailable at press time).
– The win over East was the 100th career coaching victory for Kahok mentor Rob Lugge. He is currently in his 6th season as the manager of the Kahoks and has compiled a record of 100-33-5 (as of the win over East).
-Lugge sits in 4th place on the all-time wins list at CHS. He is trailing the all-time leader Jim Stranz who amassed 204 wins in 13 seasons beginning in 1976. Second on the list is Ron Rowden with 182 in 12 seasons beginning in 1989.
Chris Digirolamo stands in 3rd place with 121 wins during his decade at the helm which began in 2001.
As a program, the Kahoks are 721-337-85 in their 51st year playing boys soccer.
Collinsville finishes its regular season tonight at home against Granite City.
On Wednesday they open up postseason play at home against the winner of tomorrow night’s Granite City at Quincy contest. The Kahok regional opener will be at 5:00 p.m. It will be followed by Edwardsville vs. Alton at 7:00 p.m.
The Wednesday winners will meet next Saturday, October 22nd at Kahok Stadium to battle for the regional crown. That championship contest will be at 5:00 p.m.