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Kahok boys soccer tries to exorcise the Panther demon in regional play Wednesday

By   /  October 22, 2014  /  No Comments

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Collinsville, Ill. – The Collinsville High School boys soccer team has played the O’Fallon Panthers in the Regionals the past three years, and have been sent home for the season each time.

Jared Hamann v O'Fallon on Sept. 13. / Photo by Roger Starkey

Jared Hamann v O’Fallon on Sept. 13. / Photo by Roger Starkey

The Kahoks get another crack at the Panthers Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Kahok Stadium in the first round of the Collinsville Regional. After five consecutive loses overall to O’Fallon, CHS defeated their Southwestern Conference Rivals 2-1 on Sept. 13.

Collinsville Head Coach Myles Hensler had mixed emotions about his second seeded Kahoks drawing the Regionals’ fourth seeded team.

“In order to get through the Regional, you have to play the best teams. O’Fallon has had our number in the Regionals in the three years since I have taken over,” Hensler said. “Hopefully this is an opportunity for us to get a victory and get past them.”

O’Fallon compiled a humble 5-10-3 record (2-3-2 SWC, 4th place) this season against tough competition. The Kahoks also played a difficult schedule. Currently riding a four-game win streak, Collinsville finished the season 10-9-1 (4-2 SWC, 2nd place).

Grant Bauer and Jordan Smith lead Collinsville’s offense. Bauer’s 21 points – on seven goals – are good for fourth best in the conference. Although it has not been officially announced, several media reports have indicated that Bauer was named to the All-State team. Smith spent time at center back this season but still managed to lead the Kahoks with eight goals while adding four assists.

Jake Koenig accumulated seven goals and 16 points to lead the Panthers in 2014. No other player scored more than three goals for O’Fallon, who was tied for last in the league with 1.2 goals scored per game.

Kahok sophomore Brett Niedzwiecki led the conference with an 85.6 percent save percentage and was third in the league with 107 saves. His 1.32 goals per game allowed was fifth best in the SWC.

The Panthers have thrown a gaggle of goalies at opponents this year. Joe Guithes, Kyle Rademacher and Grant Robison all finished in the Southwestern Conference’s top 10 in number of saves, although Robinson’s nine were only four more than teammate Nico Turk. The four have combined to allow 1.89 goals per game.

Belleville East and Belleville West play at 5 p.m. at Kahok Stadium in game one of the Collinsville Regional. The winner of that game plays the winner of the Collinsville/O’Fallon match in the Regional championship at 6 p.m. Saturday at Kahok Stadium.

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