EDWARDSVILLE - A pair of first-half goals by Sam Garafalo and Trey Peterson made the difference as Collinsville won over Edwardsville in the Tigers' home opener 2-0 Tuesday night at Tiger Stadium.

It was a type of game where the Tigers created many good opportunities to score, but couldn't quite put the ball in the back of the net, especially in the second half. Meanwhile, the Kahoks were able to clinically finish their chances, and it helped Collinsville claim the three points on the road.

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"Well, you know, I'll be honest with you," Tigers head coach Mark Heiderscheid said. "I've been coaching for, would you say, 30-something years, but the point is that you see it all and we know it's soccer. But two things with that. Number one, we know going in, Collinsville is very clinical. They have a group that is some of the most talented kids that they have seen in years. So we know if they're going to be given a half-chance, part of it is, we created a lot of chances and didn't get one to go. Sometimes, we look at that and say well, maybe, they created fewer chances.

"But when you have kids that are very clinical at finishing, that's sometimes all it takes is that little half-chance and it's there. We also made a half-mistake on both goals, in terms of someone doesn't close quick enough on the first one, and the guy just buries a player, cracks it, and goes in. The second one, they make a great darting run, we kind of make a mistake and they go ahead and chip a ball, goes in. So credit to them. We kind of had half-mistakes defensively that we had and they, being the quality, are punished."

The Tigers were able to create the better of the chances in the second half, but a good Kahok defense, along with solid keeping from Nick Horras in goal, combined to keep Edwardsville off the score sheet.

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"I thought that first half, Collinsville because they are that talented, did a good job in pressure," Heiderscheid said, "in pressing us and keeping the ball. were a little better in getting to first balls. I thought, winning second balls, they were idea, stepped, and were able to pick a lot of our passes that weren't really clean enough. I thought they did a very excellent job with that, they're well coached and they're just a very, very talented group of players.

"That said, I thought we came out second half and did a much better job of controlling it," Heiderscheid continued."We knocked the ball really well. I thought we were able to go ahead and find the inside channels very well to connect the ball. Then, we really had many chances that we created. I thought Evan Moore gets the ball on the wing, is able to go ahead and cut it back to his right, and then, whistles a shot I thought is going to go in. Alas, it does not.

"I think from 25 minutes on, we're really, I think, getting opportunities that were such near chances. Berik's (Selberg) getting in, Abe (Gianaris) is getting in, I think there's one more, we get one in the center of the pitch with Axton (Anom), who's at that point, doing a really great job of controlling play, Tyler (Dacus) makes a great overlapping run, we just miss. They still played a very good ball on that near side on that run and again, almost created a great chance. So really, the near chances that are created, sometimes, they go in, and sometimes, they don't. And that is the sport of soccer."

Collinsville got the first goal after five minutes when Garafalo got the ball, beat a defender, and hit the ball first-time into the back of the net to put the Kahoks into the lead at 1-0. The game settled into a tactical battle until the 31st minute when Peterson got a good through ball and slotted home into the corner to double the Kahok lead to 2-0.

The Tigers had the better of the play in the second half, having many good opportunities, perhaps the best one coming in the 67th minute when Anom had the ball in front of a good feed, but his shot went wide. The Kahoks clamped down defensively and held Edwardsville off the board as they claimed the three points with the 2-0 win.

The Tigers are now 3-1-0 on the season and host Alton Thursday night in a 6:30 p.m. kickoff, then finish their home stand next Tuesday with a match against Belleville East in another 6:30 p.m. kickoff.

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