EDWARDSVILLE - Marquette Catholic's Myles Paniagua and Edwardsville's Evan Moore traded goals 30 seconds apart in the 52nd minute before Liam McLean scored the match-winner in the 65th minute to give the Tigers a 2-1 win over the Explorers in a well-played and hard-fought soccer match Saturday morning at Tiger Stadium.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

Edwardsville bounced back very nicely from a disappointing 3-0 Southwestern Conference loss to Belleville East on Tuesday night. While Tigers coach Mark Heiderscheid was happy with the win, he also felt that Edwardsville had to grind it out to gain the three points.

"Well, I mean, good, because you won the contest," Heiderscheid said, "and that's great for the kids. But it was a case that we had to really scrap and battle. because we kept the ball, I think, decently well in the first half. I think the initial, we were still a little bit slow - if anything, to use a British term, stodgy - in our build-up. But when I put in my next group, who are high-quality players, we quickened the pace a bit and I thought during the middle part of the first half, I thought that did some good things to change it.

"That said, Marquette, with their physical size, they're such a high-quality small school team, that they make it very challenging and they're a little more athletic than we are and that makes it a challenge for us. But, I think when I put the guys in again, I thought it was quite good in terms of their ability to connect it, I thought decision-making was sound. I thought, in this case, Gavin Gierich, when he came in, just had one of the best games I've ever seen him play."

"We start the second half," Heiderscheid continued, "and we had to deal with some turnovers we had in the first half; we addressed that. I thought the second half, we still tried to build it and that was going well. I thought we had a lot of things in hand that not quite clearing near-chances, but we did keep it well, I thought. And then, it had a situation where we, unfortunately, give up a couple of corner kicks we certainly didn't want to have happen. And of course, with their size and just attacking-minded players. They just really go after and attack the ball in the corners. And so, (Paniagua) just headed the ball in on about a brilliant goal as you'll ever see from Marquette. And again, it shows their quality and the fact we should not concede this many set pieces."

The Tigers response to the Paniagua goal was swift, as Moore took the ball out wide and made a great run into goal and slotted the ball past the Explorers' goalie into the back of the net 30 seconds after Paniagua's strike.

"Much more difficult than what people realize," Heiderscheid said, "because from that distance, to get a breakaway and finish is quite good. At that point, we certainly had a bit more energy and that's going to throw Marquette a bit, because having scored, and we returned and scored, because they're on a high and all of a sudden, it's like 'uhhhhhh,' you lose that goal. You definitely have a mental hangover after all of a sudden, you concede when you think you've got a 1-0, and you give away the margin that quickly."

The Tigers kept on pressing the issue, and in the 65th minute, found a winner in McLean's strike.

"We're a little fortunate on the one," Heiderscheid said. "Liam does well, smacks it, hits that inside of the goal area by the goal post, seeing how he hits it right there. The goalkeeper has no chance, just a well-driven ball. But very close to bouncing out."

Article continues after sponsor message

Although the Explorers didn't get the result, they played well, but a pair of mistakes cost them.

"Well, we're disappointed," said Marquette head coach Brian Hoener. "We played well enough to earn a result today, but we made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized on them. They're a good team, they play good soccer, so we knew it was going to be a good game. And we got the good game that we expected. But I thought we played well enough to where we could have gotten a result, we just didn't make enough plays and then, they found a way to make a few plays. So we're disappointed with the result. I"m please with the effort, pleased with the energy, the intensity, I just wish we would have got a result."

As things turned out, the match turned into a very good one for both sides.

"Yeah, I think it was back-and-forth," Hoener said. "Both teams had moments where they were the better team and both teams had opportunities that they created. So a really good match for a Saturday afternoon non-conference match. We're excited to play these types of matches because we know Edwardsville's a solid side and they gave us the challenge that we wanted. Just wish we could have found the way to make a few more plays."

Paniagua's goal came about off a corner, where Charlie Fahnestock made a brilliant cross to the near post, where Paniagua's header found the back of the net.

"Really good set-piece goal for us," Hoener said."

The Explorers were able to control play in the first half, but couldn't find the back of the net, leaving the two sides scoreless at the interval.

"That's the funny thing about sports," Hoener said. "I liked the way we played today. I liked some of the things we did. We made a couple of mistakes and when you make mistakes against really good teams like Edwardsville, then they capitalize on them and that's what they did. But I'm happy with the way we played, disappointed with the result. But, you know, in looking towards building towards the end of the season, I think we can build off of this. We're still early, the first fourth of the season. So I think this is an effort we can build on."

The Tigers are now 7-3-0 and get back into the Southwestern Conference grind this coming week, starting a five-game road trip on Tuesday at O'Fallon, then playing at Belleville West on Thursday, both games starting at 6:30 p.m., then play at Normal Community West next Saturday in an 11 a.m. kickoff. The Explorers go to 5-2-0 and host Granite City on Monday in a 6:30 p.m. start.

Marquette Catholic then has off until Sept. 20, when they host Metro-East Lutheran in a Gateway Metro Conference match in a 4:30 p.m. start, then play at Duchesne Catholic in St. Charles, Mo., Sept. 24 at 3:30 p.m.

More like this:

Sep 21, 2022 | Reiniger Scores Winner In 70th Minute As Tigers Fall To Kahoks For Second Time This Season 2-1  

Oct 20, 2022 | Paniagua's Hat Trick Leads Marquette Past Jersey And Into Regional Final Game Against Triad On Saturday

Aug 31, 2022 | Two First Half Goals Are The Difference As Kahoks Win Over Edwardsville 2-0 In Tigers' Home Opener  

Mar 31, 2021 | Collinsville Goal In 72nd Minutes Gives Kahoks 1-0 Boys Soccer Win Over Edwardsville

May 3, 2022 | Marquette Catholic Captures 13th Win With 3-0 Triumph Over Rivals Father McGivney