EDWARDSVILLETrey Riley's main job for Edwardsville's soccer team is to stop shots.

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Saturday night, he did just that – but also did something else.

He also scored on a shot. And not just any shot.

Riley connected on a penalty kick in a shootout that send the Tigers to the IHSA Class 3A Collinsville Sectional, beating O'Fallon goalkeeper Joe Guithues to give the Tigers a 4-2 win in the shootout after the two teams had battled to a 1-1 draw in extra time in the IHSA Class 3A Edwardsville Regional final at Tiger Stadium.

“Nothing beats saving them,” Riley said. “The odds are against you, really. I went out there and did what I needed to do.”

The most surprising part of Riley's winning goal was this: He had no idea he was going to be the fifth shooter in the lineup. “I did not know I was going to be kicking,” Riley said. “I thought I was going to go save another one and then it was 'Trey, you're up' and it was like 'I'm up?'.

“I had no idea, but I've practiced it and practiced it a lot. I wasn't real confident, but I went out there and did what I needed to do.”

“Trey's just an exceptional keeper in a PK shootout,” said Tiger coach Mark Heiderscheid. “He's got great height, his wingspan is just superb; you just look at him from the moment he stands in there, he's just imposing, but his ability to get from side-to-side is just incredible.

“We haven't had that. We've had very good keepers, but in a PK shootout, that's a different story. You have to go back to Matt Evers in the (1990s) to find a guy that's as good at PKs as Trey Riley is.”

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The shootout to decide playoff matches has been a part of the rules for many years, but it's not one of those things that most coaches, players and fans aren't generally thinking about until it actually happens.

“PKs are one of those things you have to be prepared for,” Heiderscheid said, “but at the same time, it's just an odd part of the game. This year, there's no question that we have a fantastic player that can make saves and we've got 12 guys who can shoot well. We're just very good with that scenario, so if a team decides to play for (a shootout), we're in a better position for it than we have been in the past.”

Edwardsville grabbed the lead very early – in the fourth minute – when Max Kieffer took possession and sprinted his way downfield to face Guithues one-on-one. Kieffer faked a shot, got Guithues off his line, switched to his left side and had no trouble putting the ball into the back of the net to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. The Panthers tied it, however, in the 33rd minute when Jake Koenig scored on a penalty kick after the Tigers had been called for a direct-kick foul in their penalty area.

The match stayed that way through regulation and then two 10-minute sessions of extra time, though the Tigers did have some excellent chances to score that just failed to click or Guithues managed to turn away, forcing the issue to be decided in a shootout.

The shootout is a best-of-five session, with a coin flip deciding the choice of who shoots first and which end the shots will be taken. Edwardsville won the toss and elected to shoot first, grabbing an early 2-0 shootout lead when Daniel Hentz and Bryce Glisson connected. Riley turned back a kick from Matt Benway, then got enough of a hand on Jeffrey Pratt's effort to keep the ball out of the goal.

Alec Mills then stepped up and connected to give EHS a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead, but Koenig and Steth Garst kept the Panthers alive while Bayne Noll was turned back on the Tigers' fourth attempt. That brought up Riley, who made no mistake and then led the celebration to the Tigers' student supporter section after his match-winning goal.

“My reaction was to first go see the fans; they've been here all season,” Riley said. “They came out – it's a little windy – and they just wanted to see us win and we did it for them.”

Panther coach Jason Turkington gave Riley credit for the two saves he made in the shootout but also felt his side was missing something when Austin Wilkerson had to leave the contest at the start of extra time; Wilkerson was kicked in the head in a goal-mouth scramble in the dying moments of regulation and did not return.

“We've been practicing PKs a lot, and our order got thrown off when Wilkerson got taken out,” Turkington said. “We had five good shooters, five seniors and Riley made two good saves.”

The Tigers will meet up with Quincy, who won a penalty shootout over Collinsville in the Quincy Regional final Saturday evening, at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Kahok Stadium in a Collinsville Sectional semifinal, with the winner of that match playing for a trip to the Normal Community Supersectional at 6 p.m. Friday. Normal Community will meet up with Moline in the other semifinal, which is set for Tuesday in Central Illinois venue to be determined.

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