GODFREY – The Trailblazers women’s soccer team added a Region 24 championship win to their already undefeated season, advancing their record to 16-0-0 as they head into the Central District tournament.
Entering the Region 24 tournament with a first-round bye as the No. 1 seed, the Trailblazers played their first game in the semi-final round where they notched a 7-0 win over No. 5 Parkland on Saturday to advance to the finals.
Sunday’s championship game against No. 2 SWIC was a different story. The game was scoreless until the 70th minute when Claire Dalton put a header into the net off a corner kick from Boitumelo Ribale, giving the Trailblazers a 1-0 lead and the win.
With just over a minute left in the game, a second Trailblazer’s goal from Audrey Andrzejewski was called back on an offsides call.
The Trailblazers are playing with a full roster for the first time in weeks. Saturday’s game saw the return of Senate Letsie, who had been out for about a month with a knee injury.
“We’re playing pretty good right now,” said Coach Tim Rooney. “We’re getting scoring from a lot of different players.”
Rooney credits the efforts of his defense, which has produced 13 shutouts in 16 games.
“Goalie Mercedes King has only allowed three goals all season,” said Rooney. “The back four, Ally Smith, Claire Dalton, Sydney Schmidt and Jocelyn Wagner, have done a great job.”
Following Sunday’s victory, Rooney was named Region 24 Coach of the Year and Ribale was awarded Region 24 Player of the Year. Other players receiving a spot on the All-Region team include Taylor Hansen, Mercedes King, Kassidy Louvall and Megan Pierce. Letsie earned honorable mention.
The Central Division tournament will be played at Tim Rooney Stadium on the Lewis and Clark campus in Godfrey. The semi-final round begins at 11 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 1, with L&C (16-0-0) facing Motlow State (11-3-2). Then at 2 p.m., Metropolitan (7-8-0) will play SWIC (15-5-1).
The winners will compete in the championship game at noon, Friday, Nov. 2, at Tim Rooney Stadium.