O'Fallon's Emerson Nieroda makes a move past a Triad defender Tuesday night in a 6-0 win over the Knights. She ended the night with an assist.

TROY - It was a highly anticipated girls soccer season opener Tuesday night at Triad High School as the Knights hosted the O'Fallon Panthers.

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The defending Class 2A State Champions took on the defending Southwestern Conference Champions. Triad was 25-1 last season while O'Fallon was 20-2. O'Fallon's only regular-season loss came against the Knights on April 9 last year.

On paper, this game should have been an instant classic. No one would have predicted how it turned out.

Thanks to a goal just 66 seconds into the game and another in the 6th minute, the Panthers got off to a quick start and never turned back.

Kiley McMinn got her team on the board in under two minutes and then Claire Nieroda quickly doubled that lead.

O'Fallon caught the Knights on their heels a little bit early on, but after the back-to-back goals, Triad began to settle into the game.

Possession was leaning more toward O'Fallon, but they weren't able to find the back of the net again in the first half. Avery Taake drilled the crossbar in the 22nd minute, but other than that things stayed kind of quiet.

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The Panthers led 2-0 at the break.

Coming back onto the field, O'Fallon got off to another quick start. Two goals within the first seven minutes made it 4-0 and they eventually ran away with it.

McMinn scored two more goals to wrap up a hat trick. Sadie Mueller and Allie Tredway also scored in the second half en route to the victory.

This was Triad's first loss at home since March 18, 2019, when the Knights fell to Edwardsville 2-0.

This game Tuesday night, albeit the rather late start time and frigid temperatures, still had quite the crowd on hand to watch two quality teams battle one another in the Metro Cup Showcase's marquee matchup.

Triad will be back in action tomorrow night at home against Rochester at 6:45 p.m.

O'Fallon plays tomorrow as well at 6 p.m. against Class 1A Sectional Champions Althoff Catholic. The Crusaders won their first game over Father McGivney 4-1 on Monday.

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