EDWARDSVILLE – Things could had been a lot different for Edwardsville's girls soccer team had it been able to convert on a number of chances in their season opener Wednesday evening.
As it was, the Tigers scored enough to take a 3-0 win over Belleville East in a Nike bracket quarterfinal match of the Metro Girls Cup tournament at Tiger Stadium.
The win put the Tigers into a Friday evening semifinal match between the Springfield-Belleville Althoff winner, with the match scheduled to commence at 5 p.m. The tournament final is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at Edwardsville.
“We did have some chances early,” said Tiger coach Abby Comerford, “and they did start going in later on. We did have some rust to get off, but the girls worked well together.”
Playing at home certainly was an advantage for Edwardsville, one that Comerford hopes will pay off. “Getting to play on our home field, it's a good thing and it's fun,” she said. “We do have some high expectations for the season, and we'll build off this first one.”
The Tigers did indeed have some big chances early on, including one chance within the first 10 minutes of the match that just skidded wide of the goal. EHS finally did put one past Lancer goalkeeper Kelly Hull in the 27th minute when Jane Ann Crabtree fired a shot that beat Hull to put the Tigers up 1-0.
The Tigers were dominating play throughout the first 40 minutes, keeping the Lancers bottled up in their own end; play rarely moved past the halfway line and constant pressure kept East on their toes. The pressure finally payed off late in the first half when, near the halftime whistle, Abby Crabtree took possession and shot past Hull to put the Tigers well in command at 2-0.
“It's good to get both the Crabtree sisters involed,” Comerford said.
Play settled down in the second half, but the Tigers had one more goal up their sleeves, and they got it in the 59th minute when Lexi Norton scored to put Edwardsville up 3-0.
Lauren Serfas got the shutout for the Tigers, who went to 1-0 on the season.
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