EDWARDSVILLE - Kylie Peel and Olivia Baca each had a brace (two goals apiece), while Mea Hook added a first half strike and the Edwardsville back line put on another solid performance, allowing both Lainey Wiegers and Genny Hampton to share the team's third straight clean sheet as the Tigers defeated Collinsville 5-0 in the Southwestern Conference girls soccer opener for both clubs Tuesday night at Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers' back line, led by seniors Anna Erber and Mariah Jackson, along with freshman Anna Maxim and junior Ulla Sharp, has been exceptionally strong this season, with Edwardsville yet to concede a goal in their three matches. And overall, the Tigers have looked very sharp in all phases of the game early on.
Get The Latest News!
Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.
"Oh, we're feeling great," said Tigers' head coach Abby Federmann. "They came our with a strategy to, it was obvious, to kind of try to shut down Olivia Baca up top. And I think we responded in the midfield excellently, being able to use Kylie Peel and Thea Dimitroff and Mea Hook to create an attack around Baca and not just for Baca."
Baca has definitely been the Tigers' best player thus far, hitting for a hat trick in the Tigers' 6-0 season-opening win over Rochester last week and now has five goals for the season. And Edwardsville has been playing very solid and enterprising soccer in the first three games.
"Yeah, we really are," Federmann said. "It's a group effort and that's what's creative. If Olivia Baca's having trouble getting a goal, she's able to make these great assists. And our attack is just so fluid right now. It's wonderful and it starts in the back. Our back line is a wall back there and they're just able to connect and make things happen. Anna Maxim's a great addition in the middle as well and she just kind of pivots and distributes real well. It's been a wonderful thing to watch."
Peel's goals were very pleasing to see as well and her hard work is beginning to pay dividends for the Tigers.
"Yeah, you know, Kylie Pee's is our workhorse," Federmann said, "and I just really am grateful that she's able to get some stats to show the people who haven't watched what she's capable of because she does deserve those goals. She's a creator and I'm glad she got a couple tonight."
The Kahoks have been struggling to start the season, with only a goalless draw for their only point and have yet to score a goal in their first four matches. Federmann feels that Collinsville will come around and is still a very good team despite the slow start.
"Yeah, we'll get to see them again," Federmann said, "and they're always tough. It's a gritty game, it's always a good game. So I'm pleased with the effort."
The Tigers started out with some good chances from both Baca and Peel in the opening 10 minutes, but all were stopped or failed to click. Edwardsville then started to take charge, keeping the ball in the Collinsville third throughout much of the first half, and controlling the midfield as well. The breakthrough came in the 21st minute when Hook took a good pass from Baca and hit a laser beam that beat the Collinsville keeper and hit the back of the net to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Karly Van Dyke did a great job to keep the score as it was, sliding out to stop Baca shortly after and coming off her line to thwart a Tiger attack.
Edwardsville doubled its lead in the 24th minute when Baca made a great spin move around a defender after getting a good cross from Dimitroff and slotted the ball home to give the Tigers a 2-0 advantage. The Kahoks were able to move forward in the Edwardsville third late in the half, but the defense was equal to the task to keep the score 2-0 for the Tigers at halftime.
It didn't take Edwardsville long to up the lead, as in the 42nd minute, Baca made a great run down the left flank and got a cross in, creating a scramble in front as Peel was able to find the ball and slot it in the first time to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead. Eight minutes later, in the 50th, Baca took a through ball from Jordan Nothshire and scored to give Edwardsville a 4-0 lead and in the 57th minute, Peel put a floater over the top of the Kahok defense and inside the far post into the net for the final goal as the Tigers took the 5-0 win.
The Edwardsville defense was solid the remaining 23 minutes, not allowing very many chances the rest of the way as the Tigers preserved the clean sheet for both Wiegers and Hampton.
The Kahoks are now 0-3-1 and next play at home Thursday against Belleville East in a 6:30 p.m. kickoff, then host Columbia Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Collinsville then plays at Belleville West Mar. 28 in a 6:30 p.m. start at Bob Goalby Field, then goes to Orchard Farm, Mo. on Mar. 31 in a 4:15 p.m. kickoff.
The Tigers are now 3-0-0, with a game against Triad that was scheduled for Saturday postponed because of weather concerns, and next play O'Fallon at home Thursday night at 6:30 p.m., then host Cor Jesu Academy of Affton Mo. Saturday morning in a 10:30 a.m. kickoff and are at Belleville East Mar. 28 in a 6:30 p.m. start. Federmann is very happy with her team's start and hopes for much more as the season progresses.
"Oh, absolutely," Federmann said. "It's a great way to start. We'll have the challenge on Thursday with O'Fallon. So, we've just got this season going, so hopefully, we just keep going up from here."
More like this: