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HS girls’ soccer: North Mac pummels Taylorville; Staunton wins season opener

Route 66 Kickoff Classic begins March 23

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

North Mac and Staunton are the first county high school girls’ soccer teams into the win column in 2023.

North Mac pummels Taylorville

After being caught in a state of flux during two tough losses to Auburn (5-1) Mar. 14 and Williamsville (7-0) Mar. 17, North Mac hit a stride and broke out against Taylorville Mar. 20.

The Panthers were operating at peak efficiency, particularly in the first half, en route to a 7-3 victory over the visiting Tornadoes in Virden.

Three North Mac players scored multiple goals, including Taylor Hipsher, who pulled off a hat trick. Linda Gambucci and Isabella Watson each found the back of the net twice.

By halftime, the Panthers were in complete control with a commanding 5-0 lead.

Staunton wins season opener

Staunton went into the break trailing 2-1, but turned the tables in the second half and defeated Maryville Christian, 6-3, Mar. 13.

Samantha Fulton’s hat trick fueled the rally for the Bulldogs in front of a hometown crowd. Breanna Feeley nailed two shots. Freshman Julian Meyer also scored a goal in her SHS debut.

Goalkeeper Valeria Cazares made nine saves for Staunton.

Gillespie ties, Carlinville loses against Jerseyville

Gillespie and Carlinville recently met Jerseyville in their season openers.

The Miners settled for a tie Mar. 16 while the Cavaliers took a tough loss Mar. 20.

Gillespie led 1-0 at the half, but couldn’t make that slim lead stick down the stretch.

Jordyn Loveless scored two goals for Carlinville, but Jerseyville left the Cavaliers’ home turf with a 3-2 road victory.

Route 66 Kickoff Classic

The Route 66 Kickoff Classic begins Thurs., Mar. 23.

The tournament will be hosted by Carlinville and North Mac.

Matches begin at 4:30 p.m. with North Mac and Staunton squaring off in Virden and Carlinville facing Lincoln at CHS.

The night games are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Gillespie faces Pleasant Plains in Virden. Greenville and Auburn will take to the field in Carlinville.

On Fri., Mar. 24, the losers of the opening round play at 4:30 p.m. The semifinals start at 6:30 p.m.

North Mac will host all four games on championship Saturday, Mar. 25. The seventh place game is at 9 a.m. followed by the fifth place game at 11 a.m., the third place game at 1 p.m. and the grand finale at 3 p.m.