OTHS Panther Soccer closes out regular season on high note

(O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Sam Scinta)

(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Sam Scinta)

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Township High School Soccer team wrapped up their 2016 regular season on Thursday night at the Panther Athletic Complex, blanking the Granite City Warriors 4-0.

On a night dedicated to OTHS Seniors, a pair of underclassmen stole the show, with freshman Ben Koenig and sophomore Jordan Ellis combining to score all four Panther goals, three of which came in the second half as the O’Fallon offense separated itself from a feisty Granite City defense.

Only one senior, Aris Cesa, registered an assist, as juniors Jake Koenig, Adrean Love, and Dylan Gerstenecker tallied the remaining thee helpers.

Senior Goalkeeper Joe Guithues made sure that the younger Panthers didn’t have all the fun, stopping all four shots that came his way in a shutout performance to close out a brilliant career. Junior Grant Appel registered six minutes in net, but did not face a shot on goal.

“It’s a great win to close out the season,” Head Coach Jason Turkington said. “But we have the postseason starting next week.”

The decisive win was a move in the right direction after a tense 1-1 draw with the Highland Bulldogs. Sophomore Caleb Engel assisted Jake Koenig for the lone Panther goal while Guithues did just about all he could in stopping seven shots from hitting the back of the net.

“We survived a test,” Turkington said after the Highland contest.

The Panthers will be the three seed at the upcoming IHSA O’Fallon Regional, which started Tuesday night. O’Fallon was matched up with six seed Belleville West in a contest that went final after this issue went to print.

Number two seed Quincy will take on seven seed Belleville East in the other game in O’Fallon on Tuesday.

“We’re trending in the right direction,” Turkington added.