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ALTON – The Alton High School girls soccer team (14-3) defeated the visiting Collinsville Kahoks by a score of 2-0 Tuesday night. It was the second time this season the Redbirds beat Collinsville as their record falls to 4-12-1.

Alton head coach Gwen Sabo knew this was going to be a good test because these two will have to meet for a third time in a little under two weeks. Collinsville will host the Redbirds in a Class 3A Regional at 5 p.m. on May 17.

So, this game was a little bit of a preview for what’s to come, and it got a little dramatic.

Things got underway smoothly underneath the lights and occasional mist at Public School Stadium, the scene where Alton had just run through Hazelwood West 9-0 a day prior.

This game against the Kahoks was much more intense and Alton really had to work for their first goal.

That came in the 22nd minute off the foot of junior forward Emily Baker. Freshman midfielder Lily Freer squared the ball up beautifully and all Baker had to do was slot it past the diving keeper which she did. It marks her 26th goal of the season while Freer picked up her 12th assist.

Things calmed back down after that and 1-0 would be the score heading into halftime.

Coming out of the break, the Kahoks were determined to tie things up. They had multiple good chances within the first five minutes of the half, but Alton’s defense stood tall.

She wasn’t tested much at all in the first half, but junior goalkeeper Peyton Baker had a little bit of work to do in the final 40 minutes. Eventually, she picked up her eighth shutout of the season thanks to the efforts of her back line.

Collinsville’s high-pressure offensive began to fade away and the game really opened up for both teams as it became a back and forth affair.

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But in the 62nd minute, chaos ensued.

Emily Baker delivered the ball in nicely from a corner kick toward the back post. An Alton player got up and headed the ball and it was clearly making its way to the back of the net, however, it never made it there. A Collinsville player (not their goalie) stuck their hand out to clearly disallow a goal. Per the rules, that is a red card offense.

The officials congregated for quite some time before pulling out a red card to the Collinsville player. The only problem was it was the wrong player. The refs never really saw who actually touched the ball, they just had to give a card to someone.

Finally, after much confusion and understandable frustration from Collinsville’s bench, the refs actually took back the red card saying that they can’t book a player if they don’t know exactly who did it.

Meanwhile, senior midfielder and team captain Tori Schrimpf had to wait around 10 minutes or so before she could take the awarded penalty kick since the infraction happened inside the box.

None of it phased her though as she stepped up and drilled the ball into the upper corner to double the Redbirds’ lead. It was her 10th goal of the season.

“I’m really proud of Tori for making that PK,” coach Sabo said postgame. “PK’s are kind of a mental thing as it is, and especially having that long of a stoppage, it really puts the pressure on, like she had to make that there and luckily she did.”

Alton had some more chances in the final 20 minutes but couldn’t find a third goal. Emily Baker was close in the 74th minute, but her shot rattled off the crossbar.

The Redbirds went on to win 2-0 and sent the Kahoks home. Collinsville will definitely be coming into the regional game with a chip on their shoulder, and Sabo agrees.

“I think there is going to be a little extra feistiness. I definitely think it’s going to be a battle next time because there’s no such thing as an easy win against a conference team.”

Alton has a couple well deserved days off before they take the field again on Friday night. The Redbirds take on Highland at 6:15 p.m. for the much anticipated Senior Night as long as the weather holds up.

“I’m really excited that we’re going to get to celebrate our five seniors and it’s going to be an awesome night for them,” Sabo said.

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