Girls Varsity Soccer
Game Summaries & Headlines.
GIRLS PEP SOCCER: Alton hangs OT loss on Kahoks
Redbirds come to life late and hang OT loss on Kahoks
Pete Hayes, email@example.com
Pete Hayes | The Telegraph
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Alton’s Megan Zini, left, and goalie Addison Miller keep an eye on the ball from ground level as Colllinsville’s Mikaila Chrisman, right, tries to get around on it for a shot during Tuesday’s Southwestern
GODFREY — First-year Alton girls soccer coach Gwen Sabo admitted to some nervousness Tuesday. Not before the Redbirds’ game against Collinsville, but once it got started.
But after a halftime discussion and some bend-but-not-break play by her team’s defense, Sabo’s nerves were soothed by a 2-1 overtime victory at Alton High’s Piasa Motor Fuels Field.
The teams battled through a scoreless 80 minute of regulation time, then scored all three goals in the two 10-minute overtime period.
Alton’s Calista Cox scored the game winner with 4:15 left in the second overtime off a corner kick from teammate Alaina Nasello and the Redbirds held on.
“This is a huge win for us,” Sabo said. “And it’s the first one in a while, too.
“I’m not sure why, but we looked dead-tired in the first half,” she said, “but we got great play from our defense and we never gave up.”
The Redbirds came into the game on the heels of a four -game losing streak, including a pair of losses to Plainfield South and St. Dominic at last weekend’s Parkway College Showcase in St. Louis. Alton will face another SWC power Thursday when it plays host to Edwardsville at 4:30 p.m.
“This feels good, Sabo said. “Collinsville had almost all the play in the first half, but we played with more purpose and energy in the second half.”
Even so, the teams were still knotted at 0-0 after regulation setting up the two overtimes, which were played to completion - no golden goal.
The Redbirds took the lead in the first overtime when Maggie Evans scored off an assist by Nasello. Evans started the play at midfield when she head flicked the ball to Nasello, who raced down the left sideline, then cut the ball and headed up the goal line toward the goal. She crossed the ball to Evans, who was inside the right post and redirected the ball into the net in with 3:34 left in the first overtime.
“That was the first time we took the ball deep and crossed it and look what happened - a goal,” Sabo said.
Collinsville tied it up again late in the period - very late.
With 2.7 seconds left in the OT period, the Kahoks’ Maria Voss scored out of a scrum of players in front of the goal. Her blast from about 15 yards on the left side of the penalty area was out of Alton goalie Addison Miller’s reach.
“Hopefully, we learned that 2.7 seconds is plenty of time left to score a goal and that you play to the whistle,” Sabo said. “But we also learned that if your defense is strong, it can keep you in the game, which ours did.”
They needed a strong defense, especially in the first half, which was dominated by the Kahoks.
While Collinsville fullbacks connected with midfielders and brought the ball back upfield, the Redbirds were more prone to send the ball long. That habit was corrected at halftime.
“Overall, we didn’t have nearly as many scoring chances as Collinsville did,” Sabo said, “but we capitalized on two of the few we did have. Sometimes, that’s what it takes.”