EDWARDSVILLE - Senior striker Olivia Baca scored her fourth goal of the year, while Payton Federmann and Macie Hockett both scored their first goals of the year and freshman Olivia Kennedy opened her varsity account with a beautiful goal late as Edwardsville defeated Rochester 4-1 in the Metro Cup showcase Wednesday evening at Tiger Stadium.

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The Tigers had another solid performance on both ends in recording the second win of the season in as many starts, bouncing back nicely when the Rockets scored to make it 2-1 in the second half.

"I'm feeling really good," said Edwardsville head coach Abby Federmann. "It was definitely a team effort, four goals by four different players. Everybody was working together, connecting together and we had to fix some things at halftime and they came out and did that. It was just a really well-rounded group effort."

The combination of both Baca and Payton Federmann continues to be very dangerous, with Baca scoring from the spot late in the first half and Federmann scoring to make it 3-1 right after the Rockets' goal to help ice the game.

"Olivia got that penalty kick, which was fantastic," Abby Federmann said, "off of Ella Cook's work ethic, drawing fouls. And then, Baca was able to get two assists, one to Federmann off a really beautiful cross and then one to Hockett off a great corner. And then, we got our little freshman, Olivia Kennedy, in there and she just took a great shot from outside. It's really nice to see some of the confidence in these girls and the trust that they are getting in their team surrounding them. It's great."

Despite conceding their first goal of the season, the defensive backfield has been playing exceptionally well in the opening two games.

"Oh yeah, that backline is definitely a wall," Federmann said. "Between Mariah Jackson, Blakely Hockett, Anna Erber, Macie Hockett, and then Ulla Sharp, they're a hard one to beat. There was just a little bit of a breakdown and they were able to get a rebound in and you know, sometimes it happens. But we were able to bounce back and secure that for them, which was great."

That the Tigers bounced back nicely after giving up the goal showed a lot of grit and fortitude in coming back from adversity.

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"Definitely a lot of grit," Federmann said. "I mean, they saw that we failed our back line, the midfield and the forwards, we failed our backline and put them in a possible situation. So how do we fix that? Go ahead and score another goal and they did that."

As in the opener against Belleville Althoff Catholic, the Tigers controlled the early play, getting a number of opportunities that were turned away by Rochester goalie Alyse Day, with Federmann and Baca getting some good chances. In the 16th minute, the Rockets' Madi Jerszynski was booked for a foul, and the Tigers pressed on, with Mea Hook having a great chance that was stopped. The Rockets also had some good opportunities, with Sharp going into the referee's book when she stopped a possible breakaway in the 23rd minute.

Edwardsville continued to press on, and in the 36th minute, the work paid off when Cook was brought down in the penalty area, resulting in the spot-kick that Baca easily converted to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead at the interval.

The pace began to pick up early in the second half, as Rochester began to press the issue a bit more, but the Edwardsville defense held firm. In the 53rd minute off of a corner, Baca's cross resulted in a scramble in front of the Rockets' goal, when Hockett took a shot from close range that deflected into the goal off a defender to double Edwardsville's lead at 2-0. Rochester kept pressing, and in the 65th minute. Claire Bartletti headed in off a scramble in front to halve the Tigers' lead to 2-1.

Edwardsville restored its two-goal lead in the 69th minute when Payton Federmann hit a crossing pass the first time into the back on the net to make the score 3-1, then Kennedy sent a beautiful, arching shot over the top of Day into the goal in the 75th minute to give the Tigers their final margin of 4-1.

The Rockets are now 0-2-0 and play against O'Fallon at Triad's home park Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., while the Tigers go to 2-0-0 and play the defending Class 2A champion Knights at 3 p.m. Federmann is looking ahead to the challenge from the Triad side.

"Triad's going to be tough, we're seeing our second state champion of this tournament," Coach Federmann said. "So, it's always a battle and I just hope we can take what we did today, improve on it and see another victory."

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