EDWARDSVILLE - Colin McGinnis and Evan Moore both had braces (two goals each), while Liam McLean also scored as the Edwardsville High boys soccer team won their home opener Thursday night over Waterloo Gibault Catholic 5-0 at Tiger Stadium.
Both McGinnis and Moore scored in each half as the Tigers went out to a 2-0 halftime lead and never looked back in picking up their fifth win in six starts this season.
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"I think it was something I have to be very happy and I'm proud with the boys, as far as far as how effectively they played," said Edwardsville head coach Mark Heiderscheid. "Gibault's done a good job in the early part of the season, playing some very good teams, very good games. So we knew going in that their program has such a great history. I think going in, I think we had a good opportunity to do well, but at the same time, very respectful, because I think their program deserves it."
"That said, I think we're really kind of coming into our own," Heiderscheid continued. "I think at the beginning of the year, I'm going into the season with some high expectations. But then, once the season starts, it's always a case where it's going to be more challenging than what you always think it, is because soccer's one of those humbling sports where oftentimes, it's just, the game is more challenging for athletes more than you always like it to be."
The coach added that the Tigers have some very good kids on the boys soccer team this year who work hard.
"I think that a lot of our attacking players are finishing goals very well," he said. "I think that's ahead of the curve than where I thought we would be. I think our midfield connection did very well, I thought our organization in the back was quite well. So honestly, this game here was quite good."
It was the end of a very good week for the Tigers, who had won at Belleville East 4-0 on Tuesday to remain undefeated in the Southwestern Conference.
"We had a very good week," Heiderscheid said. "I thought our East game, the kids played very well. And so, I thought we've really struggled a bit more in these games, just because we had a lot of games in a short span and I thought our legs just wouldn't be with it. I knew we had so many players that had not stepped on a varsity field Some had, but I thought it would take them a while to kind of get to the speed of the game and that, but I think they've done such a good job in that regard."
The first 10 minutes was more of a feeling-out process for both sides, with the Tigers having the slightly better of the play. In the 11th minute, McGinnis took a through ball into the box, stepped around a defender and slotted the ball home to give Edwardsville a 1-0 lead. It didn't take long for the Tigers to double the lead when, in the 15th minute, Moore slid across to get the ball and put it past a sliding Andy Altes to take Edwardsville into a 2-0 lead. For the rest of the half, the Tigers maintained the majority of possession and organized some good attacks and in the 22nd minute, Altes dived out to his left to punch a point-blank shot past the post, where the ensuing corner was cleared by the Hawks' defense. Altes came up big again in both the 35th and 36th minutes, making a pair of great saves to stop Edwardsville attacks, but the Tigers came out with a 2-0 lead at the interval.
It only took a few seconds into the second half for Edwardsville to treble the lead, when in the 41st minute, McGinnis took another through ball and went in alone to slot the ball into the net to make it 3-0 for Edwardsville. In the 49th minute, Moore broke in off another brilliant through ball and slotted home in the lower left corner to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead. McLean scored in the 50th minute on a nice pick-up in the box, firing the ball in the corner of the net to give the Tigers a 5-0 lead.
Late in the game, Tiger goalie Zeke Manning came up big twice, stopping a shot from distance very nicely in the 61st minute, then came up big again in the 75th minute to stop another chance from distance to preserve his clean sheet and the Tigers to come away with the three points in the 5-0 win.
Manning made a total of three saves in goal for Edwardsville, while Altes came up with seven saves for the Hawks.
Gibault is now 0-5-0, while the Tigers go to 5-1-0 and have a key week in the conference coming up, playing a pair of home games against O'Fallon on Tuesday and Belleville West next Thursday, both games starting at 6:30 p.m., then going on the road to face Marquette Catholic Sept. 16 in a 12:30 p.m. kickoff.
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