GRANITE CITY – Edwardsville girls soccer coach Abby Federmann was hoping her Tigers could make a statement at the start of the IHSA Class 3A playoffs.

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Boy, did the Tigers make a statement.

Both Paytin Schneider and Hannah Bielicke had two-goal matches for the Tigers Tuesday evening as EHS advanced to the IHSA Class 3A Granite City Regional final Friday evening against the host Warriors, who defeated Alton 1-0 (see related story) in Tuesday's other semifinal match, as Edwardsville eliminated Quincy 6-0 at Granite City's Gene Baker Field. The win put Edwardsville at 12-4-3 on the season, while the Blue Devils were eliminated at 6-12-1.

“After the last two weeks of practice, we came out here hoping to make a statement that we were ready to get into the postseason and battle it out,” Federmann said. “Every single person on this team did their job and that led to six goals.”

Schneider's brace was a big part of the win, Federmann said. “She's been in our midfield the entire season and has been a leader all season,” Federmann said. “Today, she played very calm and confident – had two goals and two assists, beautiful goals and assists – and she's becoming and continuing to be a leader out there.

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“Billie (Bielicke) is one of those consistents; she's going to score goals and make plays – she's out there working hard all the time, the right place at the right time; her and Schneider have a very good chemistry, so when they're looking for crosses, they're looking for each other and you could see that today.”

Schneider wasted no time in getting the Tigers out in front, scoring from in close in the sixth minute to put EHS up 1-0; Bielicke then put EHS up 2-0 in the 23rd minute when she put a shot in the back of the net. Two minutes later, Schneider made it 3-0 when she let a shot go from some 35-40 yards out that found the upper right-hand corner of the goal.

“I really don't think the defense or the goalie thought that was going in,” Federmann said of Schneider's second goal. “It was such a bomb – she's got a heck of a foot on her and when she wants to take a shot, you know it's going to be a solid one.”

Bielicke got her second goal of the match in the 57th minute that made it 4-0 before Emma Sitton scored a minute later and Allie Fawbush closed out the scoring in the 76th minute for Edwardsville.

Federmann knows that Friday's final – the winner of which advances to next week's Normal Community Sectional – is not going to be an easy assignment. “Friday's going to be tough,” she said. “Regardless of who which one of these guys we play, it's going to be a tough game, but I'm glad to get this one win and we'll keep working towards Friday.”

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