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Final dress rehearsal a hit for Roxana

Final dress rehearsal a hit for Roxana


FREEBURG  Roxana senior forward Emma Lucas finally has everything just how she wants it.

Not that she's ready for this breakout Shells girls soccer season to slow down any time soon.

Roxana, which was crowned as the South Central Conference champion for the first time earlier this week, pushed its unbeaten streak to 15 games Thursday with a 5-1 victory at Freeburg.

“Setting these records is cool but we're really making history as a team,” Lucas said. “We've beaten a lot of teams we have never beat. Conference was great because everyone always remembers the first time they did something. We remember winning our regional for the first time last year and we can't wait for the postseason to see what we can do. This was a great game to lead into that.”

Roxana (14-2-3, No. 8 in the small-schools rankings) plays at Breese Central (4-12) in a Class 1A Breese Central Regional semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Shells closed out the regular season with an impressive performance, including a three-goal performance from Lucas to push her season total to 34. Lucas opened the scoring in the seventh minute and her younger sister, freshman defender Macie Lucas, also got in on the scoring action with a goal in the 55th minute.

Senior midfielder Brynn Huddleston made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute as Roxana won its fifth consecutive game.

“We're feeling really good, especially after the way we played today,” said Shells assistant coach Mamie Vazquez, who filled in for head coach Lori Yates. “I was telling (Yates, via telephone) that this was one of the best games we've played all season. We were talking to one another, passing well, setting each other up with first touches. I think we feel good heading into the postseason.”

Emma Lucas said it has been great to see her sister's success.

“I've been really excited for Macie to play with us because we're super close,” Emma Lucas said. “We know each other so well, we know what we're doing. It's awesome to have her here. This was great in a lot of ways, a good momentum boost.”

Freeburg (14-9-2) spoiled the shutout bid by Roxana senior goalkeeper Braeden Lackey as Midgets sophomore Haley Kimes scored a penalty kick with just seconds remaining.

“I'm just so proud of the way my defense has played in front of me all season," Lackey said. "They work so hard and make my job easy. Sure, you'd like more work heading into the postseason, but this group plays so great in front of me. They're amazing.”

Freeburg hosts its own Class 1A sectional and will play host to Gibault (1-14-1) at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Midgets coach Julie Klazynski said even things didn't go their Thursday, the team is a work in progress.

“Defense has been an issue for us all year, we're very young back there,” Klazynski said. “We have skilled players, we're still working through the intellectual part of the game. I'm excited to get the chance to see those players further grow into those roles.”

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