GODFREY — The Collinsville Kahoks girls’ soccer team earned a lopsided Southwestern Conference win over the Alton Redbirds on Thursday afternoon at Piasa Motor Fuels Field in Godfrey.
The Kahoks (9-1-2, 4-0-1) managed one goal in the first half and three in the second half in the 4-0 win. Collinsville passed the ball around and kept charging Alton’s goal for most of the first half. However, the Redbirds created some scoring opportunities. Midfielder Briana Hatfield placed a shot on goal with 11:54 left to play in the first half and placed another on goal at 10:23, but Collinsville goalkeeper Julie Scheiter managed a save both times. On the first shot, she caught the ball and on the second she batted it down.
“We did well, we had a pretty good game plan coming in here,” Collinsville coach Clay Smith. “We knew who their weapons were and coming in here on their home field we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. (It was about) controlling the play, finding gaps and creating some opportunities on goal. We wanted to be strong defensively in the first 10 minutes because of the success they’ve had this season. We didn’t want to go up and down the field because we knew it would be tough getting back to them, but overall it was a good game.”
Alton (9-3-2, 0-2-1) coach Jeff Hayes felt Collinsville controlled the flow of play in the early portion of the contest.
“They did, they always play with composure,” he said. “That’s why they’ve been so successful in the past couple of years. I was really happy with what we did defensively in the first half. We didn’t give them many good looks on goal, despite them being able to move it around a bit.”
Scheiter earned her fifth shutout of the season against proven goal scorers. Hatfield has 11 goals and five assists in the 2016 campaign, while forward Alaina Nasello has seven goals and five assists.
Collinsville’s Emily Holten scored the Kahoks’ first goal on a free kick with 8:47 left to play in the first half.
“We’re not used to playing on grass, we’re used to playing on turf,” Holten said. “It’s was hard to adjust a little bit, but once we connected on passes and played defense then we were all right.”
Hayes talked about how key the goal was in the contest.
“It’s heartbreaking when you play that (defensive) role and you give up a dead ball like that,” he said.
The Kahoks continued to control the tempo in the second half. Tayler Devine scored on a header at the 44:47 mark and Hannah Liljegren scored on another header at the 51:29 mark. Alynnah O’Leary netted Collinsville’s final goal with 18:24 left to play.
“There were breakdowns on our part,” Hayes said on the second-half goals. “We covered all of that stuff in practice leading up to this. If we don’t take what we talk about in practice we’re always going to struggle. When we talk about defending and we don’t do it as a team. It puts us in a tough spot.”
The Redbirds will return to action at 4:30 p.m. in a home contest against Columbia on April 25.