COLLINSVILLE – For Rileigh Kuhns, it was as big a goal as she's ever scored as a soccer player.
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Kuhns' goal in the final seconds of regulation time gave Edwardsville a dramatic 4-4 draw Thursday night at Collinsville in both teams' Southwestern Conference opener at Kahok Stadium.
“That was probably one of the best finishes I've ever scored in my life,” Kuhns said in describing the goal in a post-game interview. “It was with my weaker foot, my left foot. It was a like a volley, it dipped – I was shocked when I saw it,” she also said with a laugh.
“But when I hit that post, I almost, like, fell to the ground,” Kuhns said. “But when it bounced back in, I was so ecstatic.”
And what makes it even more memorable is it came on the road in a rivalry match, and in the final seconds.
“We really needed that goal,' Kuhns said. “We definitely did not want to lose to Collinsville. It was a great feeling.”
Both teams played a very hard-fought match, with the draw being a good outcome for both sides.
“Both teams played really hard, and I think a tie is a good outcome,” Kuhns said, “because both of us were going back and forth, back and forth. It would have been awesome to win for us.”
But getting the draw on the road is a important first step in conference play for the Tigers.
“It's great for the conference,” Kuhns said. “We definitely did not want to go into the conference with a loss.”
It's early on in the season, and Kuhns has some important goals in mind for her side as the season rolls on.
“To win all of our games, and come fighting hard with all of my teammates,” Kuhns said, “and work really hard as a team, and encourage each other to do their best, and win.”
And for individual goals, the sophomore would like to set the team's single season scoring record, currently held by Abby Crabtree.
“That would be awesome to beat,” the personable Kuhns said with a big smile. “I don't need to finish it this year, I have two more years here, so yeah.”
Kuhns also gave credit to her teammates' contributions to the match.
“Just my teammates played really good,” Kuhns said, “Meg Woll with two goals, awesome for her, she did really well, and Ezri Beckmann with another goal.”
And with Rileigh Kuhns' work ethic and personality, there's not a doubt that she'll write her name into the Tigers' record book before her time is finished at Edwardsville High School.
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