EDWARDSVILLE — There’s something about those corners that worked wonders for the Edwardsville High girls’ soccer team Monday.
The Tigers scored both of their goals off corner kicks and shaded Granite City, 2-1, in a Southwestern Conference match at the District 7 Sports Complex.
Edwardsville, which has won 13 consecutive matches, improved to 16-2-1 overall and 4-0-1 in the league. If the Tigers can win at home Tuesday against O’Fallon, they will share the SWC title with Collinsville.
“That’s what we want to do now — get a tie for the conference championship,” Edwardsville senior midfielder Allison Blume said.
She certainly did her part. Blume scored the tie-breaking goal early in the second half to drop Granite City to 7-5-5 and 1-3-2. The Warriors have completed conference competition.
“It was my biggest goal of the season because it was a game-winner,” said Blume, heading the ball past Warriors’ goalie Neeley Wiehardt for her third goal overall.
Abby Crabtree’s corner kick set up Blume’s goal in the 43rd minute, or just like Crabtree did with a corner kick for Megan Woll’s goal in the 22nd minute. Lexi Grote gave Granite City a 1-0 lead by punching in her own rebound in the 12th minute.
“I had a good feeling about the corner kick, so I backed up a little in front of the goal and I was pretty wide open,” Blume said.
Crabtree, the Tigers’ top scorer, now has tabulated 14 goals and 7 assists for 35 points.
“We’ve scored off quite a few corner kicks this season,” Edwardsville coach Abby Comerford said. “Taylor Hansen usually takes our corner kicks, but we had Abby take them today.”
Blume added, “It’s pretty unusual to get both goals off corner kicks like we did tonight.”
Granite City coach Ken Pramza liked the way the Warriors started with Grote getting her ninth goal of the season. Yet the team’s offense went a bit stagnant after that. The Tigers outshot the Warriors 15-4 and had a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks. Wiehardt made 10 saves to keep them close.
“We knew how dangerous Edwardsville is on corner kicks,” Prazma said. “They (Tigers) had a little more fire than we did. And we needed a little more today because we didn’t get enough chances.”
Prazma noted, “Edwardsville came to play and it didn’t make for a good ending for us. We didn’t have our best game, but I still think we can play with anybody.”
Blume said the Tigers kept their wits after the Warriors grabbed a 1-0 lead. Those scores off corner kicks — one in each half — made the difference.
“We knew we had to stay calm and play our game,” Blume said of the one-goal deficit.
Comerford lauded the Tigers for keeping their cool.
“The way we came back says a lot about our girls,” she said. “We didn’t panic and we showed a lot of composure after their early goal.”
That poise is a factor for victories in their last 13 matches. Edwardsville hasn’t lost since March 28 by a 3-2 score to Cor Jesu Academy of St. Louis. The Tigers’ 1-1 standoff at Collinsville on March 24 likely will play out as the match that determines the conference title.
In this case, it’ll be a co-championship if Edwardsville defeats O’Fallon in its league finale.
EDWARDSVILLE 2, GRANITE CITY 1
Granite City 1 0 — 1
Edwardsville 1 1 — 2
GC — Lexi Grote (unassisted), 12th minute
EHS — Megan Woll (Abby Crabtree), 22nd minute
EHS — Allison Blume (Crabtree), 43rd minutes
Shots: Edwardsville 15, Granite City 4
Corner kicks: Edwardsville 6, Granite City 1
Saves: Neeley Wiehardt (Granite City) 10, Regan Windau (Edwardsville) 3