The St. Joseph-Ogden High School boys’ soccer team has played well in the past week. Well enough to put up a 3-2-1 record in its last six matches heading into Tuesday’s 4:30 p.m. match at Olympia in Illini Prairie Conference action.
The Spartans (5-13-3-) are fresh off a 4-0 win at Watseka on Monday evening, which was preceded by a 0-0 tie at Warrensburg-Latham on Saturday, a 3-1 loss at Bloomington Central Catholic last Thursday, a 1-0 home win against Unity on Oct. 1 and a 1-0 loss at Judah Christian on Sept. 30.
SJO scored its most goals since a 5-1 win against Schlarman on Sept. 2 during its victory against Watseka.
The Spartans scored three goals in the first half to take a 3-0 lead before adding their final goal in the second half. Senior Luke Cohen, junior Tyler Sullivan, junior Logan Ingram and freshman Emily Elsbernd all netted goals for SJO, while juniors Wes Seeley and Mason Behrens each contributed assists. Freshman Hunter Ketchum made four saves in goal to secure the shutout.
Behrens scored the lone goal in SJO’s loss at Bloomington Central Catholic, while Ingram netted the game-winner — and only goal — with about two minutes left in the victory against Unity. The goal by Ingram also happened on his birthday, with Ketchum making seven saves to record his first shutout of the season.
The Spartans are set to wrap up the regular season and start postseason play this week — all against the same opponent.
After Tuesday’s game at Olympia, SJO hosts Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at 5 p.m. on Thursday in its final home game before the two teams meet again at 10 a.m. on Saturday in Arthur for a Class 1A regional quarterfinal match. SJO is the ninth seed in regional action, while ALAH is the sixth seed.
If SJO knocks off ALAH this Saturday, the Spartans would advance to a 1A regional semifinal match at top seed St. Thomas More at 4 p.m. next Tuesday.
The other regional quarterfinal match in the STM Regional features No. 11 Schlarman playing at No. 5 Judah Christian at 2 p.m. on Saturday, with the winner of that match playing No. 4 Uni High at 4 p.m. next Wednesday in a regional semifinal match at STM. The regional final is slated for 4 p.m. next Friday at STM.