The action was intense Saturday morning between Alton and Waterloo in the Metro Cup Soccer Tourney at Edwardsville. (All photos by Dan Brannan)

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EDWARDSVILLE – Alton's girls soccer team finished the Nike Bracket of the Metro Girls Cup tournament with a scoreless draw against Waterloo Saturday morning at Tiger Stadium in Edwardsville.

Earlier in the tournament, the Redbirds had dropped a pair of decisions to Belleville West (a 2-0 result on Monday in Belleville) and Triad (a 1-0 result on Thursday in Edwardsville) before bouncing back to defeat Springfield 4-0 Friday evening in Edwardsville.

No extra time was played and the result stood; the Redbirds are currently 1-2-1.

Evans leads Redbirds to 4-0 Metro Cup win over Senators

EDWARDSVILLE – Alton's girls soccer team wanted to avoid getting off to an 0-3-0 start for the new season in their Friday evening game of the Metro Girls Cup's Nike Bracket.

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Thanks mostly to two goals and an assist from Maggie Evans in the match, the Redbirds blanked Springfield 4-0 at Edwardsville's Tiger Stadium to finish Group B play in the bracket to go to 1-2-0 on the season. The win sent them into a 10 a.m. match today in Edwardsville against Waterloo for fifth place in the bracket.

“We kind of felt like we needed this,” said Redbird coach Jeff Hayes. “We didn't play bad the first two games, but when you start the season 0-2 even against really good competition, you really want to make sure that doesn't snowball. We talked about getting goals any way possible.

“Our first two goals were kind of scrappy – which I'm fine with; it gets you going. Even at halftime, we talked about 'don't let up – don't be satisfied with a 2-0 win, we've got to keep pushing.' It was good to see us get a couple of more goals – and they were pretty, so it was nice.”

Evans' two-goal, one-assist evening was a big night for the Redbird sophomore. “That's a big night for her,” Hayes said. “She's definitely a hustler; you know when you have her in the game, she's going to be working hard and she's willing to run through plays. With both of the goals she scored, I'd put them more on the skill side.”

Evans helped sophomore Sophie King on the Redbirds' first goal, which came in the 27th minute, a King shot getting past the Senator goalkeeper to put the Redbirds in front; four minutes later, Alaina Nasello got the ball over to Nora Steiner, who put the ball into the back of the net to put Alton ahead 2-0 at the half.

It stayed that way until the 72nd minute, when Evans scored an unassisted goal to increase the lead to 3-0; Evans then got a feed from Makayla Cox in the 80th minute, came in and put the ball in the roof of the net for Alton's final goal.

Addison Miller recorded the clean sheet for the Redbirds on the night.

Following Saturday morning's game against the Bulldogs, Alton heads to Lou Fusz Soccer Park in St. Louis for a 4:30 p.m. March 24 contest against Villa Duchesne before hosting O'Fallon at 6:30 p.m. March 27 in their home and Southwestern Conference opener at Piasa Motor Fuels Field on the AHS campus.

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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