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EDWARDSVILLE – Analise Sampson’s goal at the 60-minute mark was the difference as Granite City defeated Edwardsville 1-0 in the Tigers’ Making Others Better (MOB) night match Saturday night at Tiger Stadium.

The match was dedicated to Mike Beyer, the father of Edwardsville junior varsity player Briann Beyer, and Gina Love, the mother of Tigers’ JV player Madison Love, both of whom died earlier this year. Money was raised for both Edwardsville Neighbors in Need, a local charity that helps District 7 families with medical expenses, and the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University in St. Louis, to help in the research of melanoma and other skin cancers.

The Tigers wore special jerseys during the match in blue and yellow, the blue for colon cancer research and awareness and the yellow in honor of Mike Beyer’s favorite color.

“It’s really great that we are able to do a charity game every year,” said Edwardsville coach Abby Federmann, “but this year, it’s a little bit closer to our hearts with it being Bri Beyer and Madison Love both losing their parents early this year, or this year to cancer, so it was nice to be able to give back to them and show our support, and it was nice to see so many of the community out here to do the same.”

As for the match itself, it was a very hard fought and well-played match where the Tigers had some good opportunities, but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.

“Yeah, we just struggled a little bit,” Federmann said, “trying to get quality shots off. We rallied towards the end, (Payton) Federmann had a couple of good hits and worked hard to try to get some crosses off, take good shots, but it just didn’t fall. I believe their goal was an own goal, so just kind of got unlucky, but I think, all in all, we played hard and with class, and it’s always a hard fought game, but I was proud of them.”

The Warriors battled very hard as well and were able to get the goal that separated the two sides.

“Yeah, it was a great battle tonight,” said Granite coach Ken Prazma. “Both teams played extremely hard, played tough, it was a very physical game. You take whatever goal you can get; it wasn’t pretty, but not every soccer goal is pretty. But I applaud Edwardsville for an absolutely great game, but my girls came out, and they wanted to prove a little something, and getting the win Is big.”

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The Warriors used both of their goalies, Olivia Brinker in the first half, and Rebecca Loftus in the second, and both did a good job of helping keep Edwardsville off the scoreboard, along with a good defense. The two-goalie system is working very well for Granite.

“Yeah, we tried a new system, and right now, it’s working,” Prazma said. “Our defense has been playing well. We had three shutouts in Iowa, then got a shutout here tonight, so it’s working pretty well.”

And with the stretch run in sight, and the IHSA Class 3A playoffs around the corner, Prazma likes the Warriors chances and where they stand at this moment.

“I think we have just a good a chance as anybody,” Prazma said. “I know we’re a three seed in the regionals, and like I said, the girls are playing well. We beat a great team tonight, and I think the girls have just a good a chance as anybody.”

The match’s first ten minutes were more of a feeling out process, with play mainly concentrated in the midfield, but both sides having some chances, but nothing coming of them. In the 23rd minute, Megan Jones had the first good shot for either side, but Rachel Hensley was there to collect the ball for Edwardsville. Later on, in the 27th minute, Kasey Niedhardt made a nice run into the Tigers’ end and won a free kick, but nothing came of the chance. Two minutes later, in the 29th, Zoe Ahlers made a nice crossing pass to the Warriors’ goal, but no one was there to take the shot, keeping the match goalless.

In the 36th minute, the Warriors’ Abby Reeves made a brilliant tackle to win a ball and start a run that led to a good pass to Mackenzie Hawkins, but Hawkins’ shot went right into the arms of a waiting Hensley. The Tigers had a great opportunity in the 39th minute, but a loose ball in the box was cleared away, keeping the teams goalless as the halftime siren went.

In the second half, the Warriors had a great chance in the 42nd minute, but a header went way wide of the goal, keeping things scoreless. Edwardsville then had a couple of good opportunities that were eventually cleared away, leading to a Granite chance in the 47th minute, where Jones collided with Hensley going for a loose ball. A foul was called, and Jones was booked for the collision, after which Kaitlyn Naney replaced Hensley in goal for the Tigers.

Both teams then had good chances that went by the wayside, but in the 54th minute, Edwardsville’s Brynn Miracle was booked after a shoving match with a Warrior player. The breakthrough came exactly on the hour when a free kick was taken by Sampson, which deflected off a maze of players and past the outstretched arms of Naney into the Edwardsville goal to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.

In the 69th minute, Emma Van Buskirk was booked for Granite after a hard foul, but the ensuing free kick was headed clear by the Warrior defense. The Tigers then started to get some good chances in the final ten minutes, with Payton Federmann getting a good shot off, but Loftus, who came in at halftime, made a good save. Two minutes from the end, Federmann had a glorious opportunity to draw the Tigers’ level, but her shot skipped off the crossbar and was eventually cleared by the Granite defense. The final siren sounded shortly after, with the Warriors getting the 1-0 win.

Granite is now 9-5-3 on the season and hosts Collinsville May 15 at Gene Baker Field in a 6 p.m. kickoff. Edwardsville drops to 10-8-0, and gets ready for a Southwestern Conference rematch against Alton at home on Tuesday in a 6:30 p.m. kickoff, then host Collinsville in another 6:30 p.m. kickoff on Thursday. Federmann knows that her team will be ready for Tuesday’s key match.

“Just looking forward to Alton on Tuesday,” Federmann said.

More like this:

May 18, 2019 | Miracle, Hockett Score In Second Half, Tigers Win Class 3A Soccer Regional 2-0 Over Warriors

May 22, 2019 | Federmann’s Brace, Miracle’s Strike Help Edwardsville To 3-1 Win Over O’Fallon, Advance To Sectional Final

May 16, 2019 | Bielicke’s Goal In Extra Time Gives Edwardsville 1-0 Win Over Belleville West In Regional Semifinal, Tigers Face Granite City In Friday’s Final

May 10, 2019 | Rileigh Kuhns Does It Again, Scores Winning Goal In Dying Seconds As Edwardsville Defeats Collinsville 2-1 In Regular Season Finale

Apr 10, 2019 | Bielicke Brace, Kuhns Goal, Two Assists, Helps Tigers Rally to Defeat Kahoks 4-2