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EDWARDSVILLE – Sometimes in a soccer match, one goal is all it can take for the difference between victory and defeat.

Triad's Molly Suess scored just past the half-hour off a scramble in front of the Alton net in their Metro Girls Cup Nike Bracket Group B match at Edwardsville's Tiger Stadium Thursday night.

Suess' goal was the match's only goal, giving the Knights a 1-0 win over the Redbirds; Triad improved to 2-1-0 (six points) on the season and in the group, while Alton fell to 0-2-0 (no points) on the year and in the group with one match left to play at 5:30 p.m. today against Springfield; the match will be played at Tiger Stadium.

“We had talked about, after our first game (a 2-0 Monday loss to Belleville West), about marking up on corner (kicks); we like to play a zone (defense) and we're comfortable with that; we did a good job with it last year. We've given up two goals on corners so far (this season), both of them off scrambles in the (penalty area).

“I think it's just something about intensity on those balls; you just have to understand that they're great scoring opportunities for the other team – we clean that up a little bit and it's a different story.”

Hayes wasn't upset with the Redbird effort. “That's just how soccer goes sometimes,” he said of the Knight goal. “We're really happy to have Triad on our schedule; they're a great program and they've really come up the last few years. For us to compete against those teams is kind of like a benchmark for us to determine how we're doing.

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“Early in the season, for us to be able to play well with them – we had our opportunities and they made some really good plays and connected well, but we kind of hung in there with them – not a bad effort on our part.”

“A very good win against a very good team” was how Knight coach Matt Bettlach termed Thursday's match for his side. “They possess a lot of speed, a lot of quickness – they're good with the ball. The other night, when we played Belleville West, we didn't do well with their speed and quickness, especially in the middle of the field; we made some adjustments to our lineup – adjustments that I feel is going to make us successful.

“I'm very happy with this – I thought our girls played great. We came out and moved the ball and did the things we wanted to do; you knew their pressure was coming because they're too good of a team not to pressure you and our girls did a great job of keeping everything in front of our goal. I couldn't be happier – I'm really happy with that win.”

Bettlach had many good things to say about the Redbirds as well. “Jeff's a great coach, he's a great guy,” Bettlach said. “They have a good team, they're going to do some things this year, so I'm really happy about that win.”

The Knights' Mercedes King recorded the clean sheet on the night.

Following tonight's Redbird-Senator match, both teams will be playing Saturday for places in the bracket; the opponents and start times have yet to be determined for both teams. Following Saturday's matches, the Redbirds will take on Villa Duchnese of St. Louis County at 4:30 p.m. March 24 at Lou Fusz Soccer Park in St. Louis before hosting O'Fallon in their home and Southwestern Conference opener at Piasa Motor Fuels Field at 6:30 p.m. March 27; Triad next meets Highland in their Mississippi Valley Conference opener at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday at Glik Park in Highland before hosting Mascoutah in their MVC home opener at 5:30 p.m. March 22.

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