Edwardsville's Ezri Beckman fires an-balance pass in front of Incarnate Word's Pabst on Wednesday at Edwardsville High School.

EDWARDSVILLE - The Edwardsville Tigers surrendered an early goal to Elizabeth Goldstein of Incarnate Word Academy, and that proved to the difference in an early season battle of the unbeaten.

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The Red Knights defeated the Tigers 1-0 and went to 2-0, while Edwardsville drops to 3-1-1.

Goldstein’s goal came in the 74th second of the match when she found herself in a good position to shoot at the far post. However, an Edwardsville defender got in front at the last second, and the ball took a massive deflection toward the near post. Regan Windau, the Tigers goalkeeper got a hand to the ball, but couldn't do enough as it barely crept over the line.

The Red Knights lived by the “best defense is a good offense” motto as they enjoyed the majority of possession. Incarnate Word consistently won the second ball off of headers in midfield, which kept the Tigers defending for most of the game as well.

“Incarnate’s very good. We were making them look excellent because we [were] not possessing the ball. We were giving it right back to them and playing defense the entire time,” Edwardsville head coach Abby Federmann said. “We needed to shorten up the passes and find our feet so we wouldn't have to play so much defense."

Edwardsville made halftime adjustments, which ultimately led to a couple of excellent chances at Incarnate Word keeper Grace Paez, who was mostly inactive for the entire game.

With under ten minutes to play, Edwardsville had a free kick that was initially dealt with but not entirely cleared away by the Red Knights. The ball ended up at the feet of sophomore Hannah Biliecke, and with an open goal, she lobbed the handful of defenders in her way. Defender, Emma Vaughn was there to save Incarnate Word with a goal-line clearance that kept the score at 1-0.

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Emma Vaughn made the most important defensive play with a goal-line clearance that helped preserve their victory.

It was Edwardsville’s best chance and last clear chance to tie.

“I don’t know how that one didn’t go in,” Federmann said with a smile. “That was a testament to the girls adjusting and working hard; they never gave up. In the second half, we settled in and played the way we know how to play and use our skill a little bit more.”

The Tigers will play in a critical, early Southwestern Conference game at Collinsville High School at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

Ava Walls attempting a free kick in the first half.

Hannah Biliecke (left) and Kiara Delagado console Ezri Beckman after she took a knock to the face.

Kiara Delagado (16) hounds Incarnate Word's Carli Schieferle (18).

Sophomore Zoe Ahlers (18).

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