EDWARDSVILLE – After splitting their two regular-season meetings, Edwardsville and Collinsville met again Saturday afternoon for the rubber match, this one for a regional title.
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The Tigers won over the Kahoks 3-2 back on Aug. 29, but Collinsville flipped the script on Sept. 19 with a 4-1 win. Both teams won on the road.
Collinsville would go on to beat the Tigers 1-0 in the regional championship game Saturday afternoon, ending Edwardsville’s season at 12-6-1.
In a game of few chances for either side, the difference maker came in the 48th minute. Adam Reiniger scored his 20th goal of the season, but none as big as this one.
On a fast-paced counterattack, the ball found its way to the feet of Reiniger in between a couple of Edwardsville defenders. Reiniger split them, going one-on-one with the onrushing goalkeeper Collin Schelecte. Reiniger barely toe-poked the ball around the keeper and rolled it into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
“Adam is so proficient around the goal,” Collinsville head coach Robert Lugge said. “He just needs a small step. It was a great pass from Landon [Mahat] to find him through those two defenders. It kind of looked like a toe-ball, but Adam knew what he was doing.”
“A difference maker, he’s just that,” Edwardsville head coach Mark Heiderscheid said of Reiniger.
The Tigers’ best scoring opportunity of the game came with just under two minutes remaining when Liam Mclean drilled the inside of the post from his shot right inside the 18-yard box. The ball ricocheted back off the post across the goal before being put out for a corner kick.
Mclean couldn’t believe it, and neither could his coach.
“I am sure when it hits that inside post, that it’s in the goal, but somehow, it’s not fully across the line,” Heiderscheid said. “Most times you get a kinder bounce, but not this time. That’s how close the game of soccer can be.”
A season ago, Collinsville was the No. 1 seed and Edwardsville No. 3. They met in the regional final last year and Edwardsville won 2-0 en route to a super-sectional exit.
Now, Collinsville is ranked at No. 3 and will be moving on to face No. 1-seeded O’Fallon in the sectional semifinals.
That game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Community West High School in Normal but will more than likely be moved to a location in the Metro-East.
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