EDWARDSVILLE - Alton High boys soccer forward Dillan Cowan concluded his season on Tuesday night against Edwardsville and he ended up being the Redbirds leading scorer for the season.
Cowan was forced to sit out the Redbirds' 3-0 loss to Edwardsville in the IHSA Class 3A regional semifinals on Oct. 17, 2023, at Tiger Stadium in Edwardsville, due to an ankle injury he suffered during the pregame warmups. It was a big blow to the team, as they had lost their leading goal scorer, who scored 14 during the regular season.
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After a slow start this season, Cowan helped lead the Redbirds to a great second half, which saw Alton win five of their final eight regular season games, which was their goal, and end the season 6-13-0. It was a great accomplishment for the Redbirds and serves them well in the 2024 campaign and beyond.
"We didn't start out how we wanted," Cowan said during a post-match interview, "but we still came out every night and competed and competed. And then, our goal was five wins in the last eight games. We made sure to win and to get ready for this game. But then, it didn't work out how we wanted it to."
Cowan was happy with his contribution to the Redbirds' comeback during the season, but he was happier with how his team did overall.
"Yeah, it does," Cowan said. "but I'm more happy to have the team succeed than myself. When we win, I'm more happy about that."
Although he was forced to sit out the final match, Cowan was happy with the entire season, and also the way Alton kept battling despite allowing an early goal.
"Yeah, I am," Cowan said. "Even when we went down 1-0 early on, we still showed some fight and kept going through."
And being a junior and returnee to the team in 2024, Cowan is very hopeful of a more successful season, as the Redbirds will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of their appearance in the state tournament, made possible when Alton upset Granite City 1-0 at the Warriors' famed Gauntlet ground in 1984.
He said a key goal for next year will be to record a playoff win and "just keep going with the wins."
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