Sabers soccer team reaches regional final

Sabers soccer team reaches regional final

CHARLESTON — St. Thomas More and Charleston will play for a girls’ regional soccer championship Saturday, the first time this season the schools have played each other.

The second-seeded Sabers blanked Urbana Uni High 4-0 in a Wednesday night semifinal match as goalkeeper Lexi Wallen recorded her 26th career shutout.

STM led 3-0 at halftime. Michaela Ward scored the first two goals. Randa Harshbarger also scored before intermission.

“Our defense is stepping up (with three shutouts in the last five games), we’re healthy for the first time and I feel we’re clicking at the right time,” STM coach James Johnson said.

Top-seeded Charleston took care of Monticello, 8-0, in the semifinal opener. It was the same score that the Trojans defeated the Sages by last week.

“We put up a good fight,” Monticello coach Samantha Shores said. “Last week, it was 6-0 at halftime. (Wednesday), it was 3-0. They fought well.”

Charleston won a regional crown last year as a Class 2A school. Saturday’s title match will start at 1 p.m.

Johnson knows his team will be the underdog in the finals, but he’s OK with that scenario.

“We’ll put our best foot forward,” Johnson said. “We have nothing to lose.”
Louisette Lukusa scored the last STM goal, assisted by Ward. Lukusa also had an assist.

STM (9-9) outshot the Illineks 18-3.