EDWARDSVILLE - Marquette Catholic senior striker Myles Paniagua scored the only goal in brilliant fashion off a flick-on header in the Explorers' 2-1 loss at Edwardsville Saturday mid-day at Tiger Stadium.

Myles Paniagua For Paniagua, it was his 12th goal of the season, among the leaders in the St. Louis area, and he's scored in every match thus far as the Explorers went to 5-2-0 on the season going into a home match Sept. 12 against Granite City at Gordon Moore Park. After the Edwardsville match, Paniagua felt the Explorers played well against a very good Tigers team. Paniagua is a Tucker's Automotive Repair & Tire Male Athlete of the Month for the Explorers.

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"Edwardsville's a tough team," Paniagua said. "We knew we had to come out here and work hard, keep their midfield in check. I mean, they're pretty good in midfield, pretty good on the lines. Up and down the field, they're just a good team. We were there, we were there the whole game, but put away a couple of those chances, we're right there."

Paniagua was able to take advantage of a weakness in the Edwardsville defense to score on a beautiful flick-on header to the near post off a corner kick.

"We knew they were weak in the air," Paniagua said. "So Charlie (Fahnestock) played a great ball in, I knew I could get a head on it and buried it. We have to put away those chances, though, against this team."

Despite the loss, the Explorers played very well against a very good Edwardsville side that was coming off a loss at home to Belleville East Sept. 8.

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"Yeah, we played fairly good," Paniagua said. "I think we had the better of the possession, but it just slipped away from us a little. Breakdowns in the back are just going to kill us."

It's still fairly early in the season, and Paniagua and his teammates will use the game as a learning tool and prepare for Monday's clash against the Warriors. And there's still much time remaining in the season as well.

"Yep, definitely," Paniagua said. "We've got Granite City Monday, and hopefully, we can bounce back there."

As for the remainder of the 2022 season, Paniagua knows that the Explorers just need to do what makes them successful to have a great season heading into the IHSA playoffs in late October.

"Just keep doing what we're doing," Paniagua said, "and just keep passing the ball, moving in and scoring goals. We want to beat teams like this, but we'll just keep working hard."

Paniagua also knows if the Explorers keep working hard and do the things that they can, the three points for wins will come eventually.

"Yeah, we've got some things to work on," Paniagua said. "Hopefully, we'll bounce back Monday."

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