Edwardsville's girls lost a hard fought soccer battle with Collinsville on Thursday. (Photo by Dan Brannan)

EDWARDSVILLE – In-conference rivalries can be a tricky thing sometimes.

For every time a person thinks something is going to happen, something completely different takes place.

Take Thursday night’s Southwestern Conference girls’ soccer opener between Collinsville and Edwardsville, for instance.

What some thought would be a close game instead turned into a decisive win for the Kahoks as Sophie Sharos scored three times in a 5-1 Collinsville win at Tiger Stadium. It was the first time the two schools had met since Edwardsville knocked Collinsville out of last year’s IHSA Class 3A Normal Sectional semifinals.

“Collinsville's good,” said Tiger coach Abby Comerford. “We decided to come out in a different formation tonight against them, and we had to go back to what we had been doing after they got the lead. It was just one of those things.

“We can't get down on ourselves. We do have some things we still need to work on though.”

Surprisingly, despite taking a very quick lead on a first-minute goal from Sharos, the Kahoks felt they were being outplayed early on. “The first nine minutes, they were outplaying us,” said Kahok coach Clay Smith. “Once we regrouped and found the back of the net, things went pretty well.

“A lot of the girls on both teams have played with each other in club soccer, so we know each other pretty welWe knew they were going to battle us, and that's what makes this a fun rivalry.”

Following Sharos' first goal, Emily Holten took a ball and fired into the net to give the Kahoks a 2-0 lead in the 34th minute, but Edwardsville's Ashlin West cut the lead in half later in the 39th minute and the teams went into the break with Collinsville holding a 2-1 lead.

Sharos restored the Kahoks' two-goal advantage in the 44th minute when she fired a free kick past Tiger goalie Lauren Serfas from just beyond the penalty area, then all but wrapped up the game in the 48th when she scored off a scramble following a corner kick.

Play settled down for a bit after that, but Hannah Liljegren put the final nail in the coffin when she scored from about 30 yards out on a restart in the 65th minute.

The win put the Kahoks at 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the SWC; the Tigers fell to 3-1 overall, 0-1 in

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Feeney, 56, is a native of Granite City and graduated from Granite City South in 1978. He was a part-time writer for the old Granite City Journal from 1979-84 before attending Eastern Illinois University in Charleston,
from which he earned his BA in journalism in 1988. He has worked for newspapers in Sikeston, Mo., Rocky Mount, N.C., Seneca, S.C. and in Charleston-Mattoon. He also worked for the old St. Clair County Suburban
Journals.

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