Mikayla McCarthy started the post season where she finished the regular season, scoring.
McCarthy scored her eighth goal in the past four games less than a minute into the Kahoks 4-0 Regional win over Belleville East Tuesday in a game played at Belleville West.
Collinsville Head Coach Clay Smith said McCarthy is playing with a lot of confidence right now.
“I think the most important thing about her game is she’s finding ways to get free off the ball,” Smith said. “She’s being very creative in finding ways to get behind the back line.”
Despite the quick start, the Lady Kahoks led just 1-0 at halftime after failing to convert several more chances in the first half.
Smith said he thought the team dominated play early in the game despite only scoring one goal.
“We put it right at the keeper,” Smith said. “We had plenty of opportunities. We just couldn’t put it in the net.”
Not long after McCarthy’s goal, Collinsville had a shot that beat everything except the crossbar. The Lady Kahoks also had two corners and were caught offside four times.
The wealth of opportunities came because Collinsville was able to possess the ball in the Lancers end of the field for a large amount of the first half.
Still, Belleville East was able to collect five shot attempts of its own. Senior and starting goal keeper Holly Bluemner handled the Lancers’ shots with no problems, though.
The Lady Kahoks maintained the pressure and eventually scored three more goals, while forcing the Belleville East sophomore goalkeeper, Kelly Hull, to make several more saves as well.
Smith said he stressed picking up the defensive effort at halftime.
“We gave them a couple too many looks, in my opinion, in the first half,” Smith said. “Second half, we came out and did a great job and controlled play. I don’t think they got a shot on goal in the second half.”
Midfielders Andrea Frerker and Sophia Sharos scored Collinsville’s second and third goals. Frerker’s goal came nine minutes into the second half on a shot from near the top of the box. Sharos scored on a tap in at the 13 minutes into the second half..
The final goal in the match was scored by junior midfielder Gabby Suria, who put the ball in the net with 11:49 remaining in the match to give the Lady Kahoks the 4-0 lead. The goal was Suria’s first of the year.
Collinsville plays at 6 p.m. Friday against Belleville West, at Belleville West, in the Regional championship. The Maroons knocked off O’Fallon on penalty kicks to advance.