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EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville's field hockey team certainly had a very good home opener Tuesday afternoon.

The Tigers made new coach Jaimee Phegley's home debut a successful one thanks to three goals in the opening 8:30 en route to a 9-1 win over Rosati-Kain of St. Louis city's Central West End at Tiger Stadium.

“The girls did really well moving the ball from the back of the field to the front,” Phelgley said. “They were able to continue the movement and didn't get it interrupted too much; we did have a couple of issues with turnovers, but I would say ultimately, they were able to control the field.

“I did have a some girls moving around; toward the end of the game, it was all of our underclassmen – I left a couple of seniors out there. That was nice to see the future of our varsity team playing together in that combination and that's when their goal got scored, but it was nice to see those girls working it out together. We tried to take advantage of opportunities where girls get to play some other positions and focus on connections.”

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Tiger goaltender Annie Farrar just missed out on getting a shutout when the Kougars – with a man advantage – managed to score when Bridget Kelly beat Farrar with 5:15 to go. “We were down a player at that point because of a green card (similar to a penalty in ice hockey where the player issued the card leaves the field and the team plays short-handed); when you're down by one, the girls have to shift into new positions and sometimes that doesn't happen fast enough.”

Overall though, Phegley was happy with the Tiger effort on the day. “I'm happy we were able to get (goals) from several different girls (six different players found the goal on the day for EHS).”

Natalie Nava led the way with a hat trick for the Tigers. “Natalie actually said she was going to get a hat trick today,” Phegley said. “That was her vision and she made it happen, so I was proud of her and pushing through; she made it happen and did a great job of communicating today.”

Rachel Goebel opened the scoring just 4:30 into the game before Nave scored three minutes later and Maren McSparin made it 3-0 at 8:34 to open up the lead. Allie Hosto and Grace Bolton then scored right before halftime to get Edwardsville ahead 5-0 at the intermission.

Nava scored the next two goals at 40:35 and 42:10 to get the Tigers up 7-0 before Mattie Norton found the range at 49:52 to extend the lead to 8-0; Kelly's goal broke up the shutout at 54:45 before McSparin capped off the scoring with a goal with just over two minutes to go in the match.

Next up for the 3-2-2 Tigers is a 4:15 p.m. Friday game at Lafayette before road encounters with John Burroughs and Parkway West next week.

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