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EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville's girls soccer team is in the final of the Nike Bracket of the season-opening Metro Girls Cup tournament.

A 3-0 win over Rochester Thursday evening at Tiger Stadium, coupled with a 1-1 draw between Belleville West and Waterloo, gave the Tigers a 2-0-1 record in group play, good for seven points (three points for a win, one point each for a draw) in the group; the Bulldogs' draw with the Lancers put them at 1-0-2 for five points and gave them second place in the group.

The final is currently set for 6 p.m. Saturday at Tiger Stadium against Belleville West.

“We're excited,” said Tiger coach Abby Federmann. “We're seeing Belleville West Saturday; it's going to be tough competition. I'm excited to see what these girls can do; they use yesterday's (Wednesday evening's 1-1 draw with Waterloo) as learning and a little motivation for today, and I thought they were executing the things we needed to execute a little bit better.

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“We're progressing – we're a work in progress all season long.”

One thing Federmann was happy to see was how the Tigers were interchanging on positions when it was called for as the game progressed. “It was nice to see the girls interchanging on positions and not relying on (Sydni Stevens) up top (near the goal); our defensive line – they're so consistent and played outstanding.

“They're so consistent out there; I was very proud of my back line. We're working through the middle a little bit better, changing the fields; my sophomores are stepping up and I'm excited for what's to come.”

Rileigh Kuhns scored her fourth goal in her first three matches of the season in the 55th minute. “Every game – this is exciting,” Federmann said of Kuhns' goal; Paityn Schneider, coming off an injury, scored her first goal of the year off a direct kick in the 33rd minute to put EHS ahead. “That's a great morale-booster for Schneider,” Federmann said. “She's coming off a pretty bad injury, but she's not (at) full-potential yet; that probably gave her a little bit of confidence that she can an asset for our team even if she doesn't get the minutes she's used to right now.”

Edwardsville's final goal came from Hannah Biliecke in the 66th minute on a shot from about 20 yards from goal to seal the match and the spot in the championship match. Regan Windau recorded her second clean sheet of the season for Edwardsville.

Following Saturday's match, Edwardsville will host Incarnate Word, one of the top teams on the Missouri side of the Metro area, at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday before heading to Collinsville for their Southwestern Conference opener at 6:30 p.m. March 22.

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