EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville's girls' soccer team has established themselves as one of the powers in the Metro-East area the past several years.

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The Tigers sent notice that they are once again one of the teams to beat in the area Saturday evening as a Riley Mushill goal in the 57th minute gave EHS a 2-1 win over Waterloo in the final of the Metro Girls Cup season-opening tournament at Tiger Stadum.

The win put the Tigers at 3-0 to start the season, but EHS suffered a possible blow when senior Allison Pritchard went down with an injury in the second minute. She was taken from the field and did not return.

Taking part in a tournament like this is a good way to get the season started, Comerford believes. “It's a good tournament at the start of the season,” Tigers' coach Abby Comerford said. “We get three games in against some good teams, and although we had a bit of a rough go tonight, we know that, with games coming up against Columbia and Collinsville, we can get things done against good teams.”

“We can build on this,” said Bulldog coach Chad Holden. “There's no easy teams in this tournament; we could have gone 0-3 in the tournament and still felt good about it. That's how good this tournament is.”

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Waterloo is sporting a young team this year; seven of their starters are either freshmen or sophomores. “We don't like to lose, of course, but our freshmen and sophomores are really coming out strong, and that's making our juniors and seniors step up their games,” Holden said. “There's no shame in losing to a team like Edwardsville.

“I'm proud of the effort; we played right to the end of the game.”

Edwardsville drew first blood in the 14th minute when Abby Crabtree took a through ball, came in alone and beat Bulldog goalkeeper Kathryn Finnety to the right side, putting the Tigers ahead 1-0. Play settled down some, though both sides had good chances, but in first-half stoppage time, the Bulldogs tied the match off a restart when Dani Maurer found Shannon Rettig with the free kick and Rettig knocked it home past Lauren Serfas to draw Waterloo level at the break.

The Tigers were determined to get the lead back, and they did when Mushill charged downfield and scored to give EHS the lead back. Waterloo was not daunted and had a couple of decent chances, including right at the end of the match, to force extra time, but the Tigers bottled up the chances and held on for the win.

The Tigers remain at home for their next two matches, Tuesday against Columbia and Thursday against Collinsville in their Southwestern Conference opener. The matches both commence at 5 p.m.

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