EDWARDSVILLE - The three Olivias - Baca, Lautz, and Kolnsberg - all scored while Thea Dimitroff had two assists and Genny Burroughs had four saves in goal as a very stout Edwardsville defense limited Collinsville chances, especially in the second half, as the Tigers eliminated the Kahoks 3-0 in the semifinal of the IHSA Class 3A Quincy regional Tuesday night at Tiger Stadium.

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The win advances Edwardsville to Friday's final against the host Blue Devils, who eliminated Granite City 3-2 in the other semifinal on Tuesday evening at Flinn Memorial Stadium.

It was a great defensive effort for the Tiger in limiting the chances for the Kahoks while scoring the timely goals that helped Edwardsville advance.

"We're feeling good," said Tigers head coach Abby Federmann. "Coming off the tight game we had with them of Friday (a 1-0 win at Kahok Stadium), it's nice to come out and look a little bit more comfortable in our style of play. Our defense played fantastic. We said at halftime that they're doing their job, we need to do our job up top and score goals. We were getting opportunities off crosses left and right all the time and we weren't just finishing. So it was nice to come out in the second half after our talk and finish two crosses. We had everything going for us as far as how we were playing. We just needed that one little like ummph, grit to put it in the back of the net and I'm glad to see we did that."

That the three Olivia's scored all of the Tigers' goals brought a smile and chuckle to Federmann.

"I didn't even think about that," Federmann said with a laugh. "Yeah, that's great. It was nice that Baca got that first goal that kind of set the tone. It gives us a little bit of motivation. And then, finishing crosses, always something that, it's just exciting. It's just true grit and hard work to get up there and the timing of the crosses. And it's just nice to see Kolnsberg get her first goal and Lautz, she's been a little bit silent on the scoring front for a while. So hopefully, that revs her up for the rest of the postseason."

But the Tiger defense will be the key to any postseason success that Edwardsville will enjoy.

"Yeah, absolutely," Federmann said. "They've been all season. I think we're sitting on 12 or 13 shutouts right now and that has everything to do with our back line. Ulla Sharp and Anna Erber, Mariah Jackson and Kelley Flannery, those four back there, along with our keepers (Lainey Wiegers and Genny Burroughs), it's been a feat for anybody to get a goal. let alone to get opportunities. So as long as they can hold their ground, stay strong and keep doing what they've been doing, I think it should give us a run into the postseason."

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The first three shots of the game went wide before the Tigers had the first good opportunity four minutes in when a shot by Mea Hook went right to Collinsville goalie Karly Van Dyke. Another chance by the Tigers, on a shot that deflected to Dimitroff, whose chance was stopped by Van Dyke to keep the match goalless. On the other end, Georgia Cox had a great chance in the 11th minute, but Burroughs was there to make the save. Cox was foiled on another opportunity in the 17th minute off a good cross from a corner, but Burroughs dived out to make the save to keep the score 0-0.

The Tigers broke through in the 27th minute when Baca's shot from near the spot beat Van Dyke to the far post and the ball slipped through a hole in the netting. The referee and his assistant discussed what happened before giving the goal that put Edwardsville ahead 1-0. The Tigers had good chances the rest of the half, but couldn't finish as the teams went into halftime with the Tigers leading 1-0.

The second half started with Kylie Peel having a good chance but was pushed from behind to ruin the chance and no foul was called. The Tigers were undaunted and doubled their lead in the 48th minute as Dimitroff's cross to the far post found Lautz waiting, putting the ball into the back of the net to make the score 2-0. From there, the Edwardsville defense clamped down and didn't allow the Kahoks good opportunities to cut into the lead. And when there was a chance, Burroughs was able to clean up and snare the ball to keep the clean sheet going.

The Tigers got their final goal in the 79th minute, when Kolnsberg got a cross from Dimitroff and calmly but the ball away in front for her first goal of the season to make the final 3-0 as Burroughs and Wiegers shared the clean sheet.

The Kahoks' season ends at 3-11-5, while the Tigers are now 17-3-0 and head into their regional final at Quincy Friday evening at 5 p.m. Federmann is expecting another good test for her team no matter who they would play.

"From here on out, we're not worried about who we're playing, we're worried about how we are playing," Federmann said. "So we're going to go into every game just focused on how we play versus who we're playing."

The Tigers-Blue Devils winner moves on to the sectional at Tiger Stadium, where they would play the winner of the O'Fallon regional, either the host Panthers an 8-0 winner over Belleville West, or Alton, who defeated Belleville East 1-0. Federmann is hopeful that her side will be able to play at home once more.

"Yeah, I'd like to win regionals again and get back home to the sectionals," Federmann said, "give those seniors an opportunity to come and play back on our turf and host the sectionals and be in it. So we've just got to get through the weekend, Friday or Saturday, whenever we play, whoever we play and we can get back home."

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