GRANITE CITY — The Edwardsville Tigers' scoring weapons have performed well during the 2016 campaign.
And three different players stepped up to the plate on Wednesday night in the first round of the Class 3A Granite City Regional against the Quincy Blue Devils. Defender Mallory Mushill, midfielder Ashlin West and forward Abigail Crabtree each scored in the 3-1 victory. Crabtree has 16 goals on the season while West has 10 and Mushill has 4. The Tigers improve to 18-2-1 with the win.
“It’s a good thing,” Edwardsville coach Abby Comerford said on the scoring. “Mallory (Mushill) getting that first goal, that’s not even our offensive line. She’s in our defensive line. It’s one of those things that you know, we had a defender, a midfielder and a forward score today. It’s nice to see it’s not just one person that’s a threat.”
Mushill scored with 27:42 left in the first half and West scored with 2:46 remaining in the opening half. Quincy (6-3-3) forward Schay Mulherin drew the Blue Devils closer with a goal on a penalty kick with seconds left to play before the break, cutting it to 2-1 Edwardsville.
“Edwardsville is a great team and Abby (Comerford) has some great players,” Quincy coach Travis Dinkheller said. “We wanted to come and try to disrupt their flow of play and not give up so many restarts and that became our Achilles' Heel. They got a lot of good opportunities off of restarts. We battled and I was pleased with the way we battled.”
To add a little insurance, Crabtree scored with 26:13 left in the second half. The junior forward was just yards from the goal when she took a shot that landed in the back of the net.
“Finishing it, it allows us to calm down and play,” Crabtree said. “Instead of just kick, kick and kick, we were able to get some composure and connect with each other.”
Comerford also mentioned the importance of the third goal.
“Once we got that first goal, getting a few more goals was something we wanted to do,” she said. “Getting the third goal and going up 3-1, it was a big help.”
The Tigers continued to pressure the Blue Devils with five shots-on-goal in the final 20 minutes of the contest, but Quincy goalkeeper Michaela Cowman came up with a save each time. Dinkheller said Cowan played a fine game but also said his team needed to work on preventing second shots.
Edwardsville now meets Granite City for the regional championship at 6 p.m. on Friday.