Carlinville, Staunton and North Mac win conference openers
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
All four of the Macoupin County high school boys’ soccer teams started South Central Conference play on a winning note, with Litchfield-Gillespie taking an additional step further as one of the league’s early contenders.
The Litchfield-Gillespie Purple Panthers rallied in the second half to force extra time and knock off rival Hillsboro via penalty kicks 2-1 (4-2 PK) Sept. 5. The victory over the defending SCC champs was Litchfield-Gillespie’s fifth in seven matches.
Following their memorable home win, the Purple Panthers returned to a familiar site of the Route 66 Kickoff Classic Sept. 7 and beat North Mac in Virden for the second time this year. North Mac, which knocked off Vandalia 4-0 in its conference opener Sept. 5, fell to 1-8-1 overall and 1-1 in the SCC.
Litchfield-Gillespie traveled to Springfield over the weekend and improved to 7-2 with an 8-5 victory over Lutheran. The score was tied 4-4 at the half before the Purple Panthers pulled away and extended their winning streak to four games.
Carlinville had 21 shots on goal en route to a 3-1 league victory against Pana Sept. 5. Elijah Suttles and Keegan Brown each found the back of the net to put the Cavaliers up 2-0 in the first half. Then, Paeton Brown added insurance on a successful PK roughly 90 seconds after the intermission.
The Cavaliers’ next conference stop was Greenville Sept. 7. Despite a valient effort, Carlinville fell short in a nailbiter that was decided by PKs, 2-1 (4-3).
Carlinville is 4-2 (1-1 SCC) overall.
Cole Eberle accomplished a hat trick and led Staunton to a dominant 8-0 conference victory against Vandalia Sept. 7. The senior had plenty of support, as five other Bulldogs (Payton Luketich, Brody Hill, Ford Klocke, Rhyse Rucker and Aaron Bodner)buried one goal apiece. Ty Simpson made six saves en route to his second shutout.
Staunton is 3-5 (1-0 SCC) on the season.