ST. CHARLES • Emily Gaebe isn't out to put on a show. It just usually works out that way.
The freshman forward scored four goals Friday to lead Union High's 6-0 victory at Duchesne. Gaebe leads the area with 35 goals.
“I never expected these results, I just wanted to come in and work as hard as I could,” Gaebe said. “I wanted to prove myself and now that I have, I know I'm getting it (attention) and that just makes me work so much harder.”
Gaebe showed off that hard work with her second goal Friday.
After a long run down the right side of the pitch, she took on a pair of defenders, split them, and the uncorked a rocket from 20 yards that beat the Duchesne goalkeeper, pinged off the inside of the left post and hit the back of the net for a 3-0 lead.
“We made an adjustment at half where someone had to stick on her the whole time, don't give her any room to breathe," Duchesne coach Pat Turner. "They are physical. They are fast, and they have the skill to go along with it. We had a few key starters missing and they are good, so we would have had to have everybody with us. The silver lining is that we're getting girls some experience.”
By halftime, Union (11-0, No. 3 in the STLhighschoolsports.com small-schools rankings) had a 4-0 lead and Gaebe had three goals.
She slammed home a header early in the second half to account for her fourth goal.
“She does a great job of creating in tight spaces,” Union coach Matt Fennessey said. “That ball off the post is a goal scorer's goal. She's come on during the high school season in a big way. We had a great scorer a few years ago in Bethany Coons and you wonder if that's a once-in-a-lifetime thing for a coach. Emily's on that same pace where she can compete with some of the scoring marks.”
In addition to Gaebe's effort, midfielders Georgie Bray and Gianna Gore also added goals and Lexi Garlock made six saves to earn the shutout victory.
“We're one game at a time,” Fennessey said. “We're focused on playing a good team defense and keeping that shutout. We're trying no to overlook anybody. You get teams like Duchesne on your schedule to prepare for that postseason. It's a big win for us, but we just need to keep our heads.”
Gaebe said that a win over a team that went to state last year in Duchesne (5-5) was nice, but it was just another in the checklist the team has for the season.
It comes on the heels of a win Tuesday against Sullivan to capture the program's 14th consecutive Four Rivers Conference title.
“It feels really good to keep that going,” Gaebe said. “We want to take it one game at a time, though. Now, we have a win over a really good team. We just want to keep working hard and keep getting better to be ready for what's to come.”