In a highly physical and emotional match between the Collinsville Kahoks and the O'Fallon Panthers on Tuesday night, the Panthers defeated the Kahoks 2-0 in a Southwestern Conference matchup.
But the officiating seemed to be the center of attention more than the game.
The Collinsville crowd, coaches and players felt the calls were heavily in favor of O'Fallon. The frustration led to six yellow cards issued to the Kahoks, including two yellows and a subsequent red card to head coach Clay Smith.
Smith received his first yellow card 21 minutes into the first half after voicing his displeasure to the official about several calls he thought should have gone Collinsville's way. Smith was issued his second yellow card 10 minutes into the second half for the same offense as the first yellow card. The two yellows meant Smith received a red card, and therefore was ejected from the game and had to leave the facility.
Collinsville assistant coach Jodie Bales took over the coaching duties for the Kahoks.
"That was a hard game to keep your head in because the game got out of control a little bit," Bales said.
O'Fallon scored the first goal of the game 24 minutes into the first half to take a 1-0 lead. Junior midfielder Sydney Pfankuch lifted a ball into the box off a corner kick. Junior forward Quin Wilkes headed it in for her 12th goal of the season.
The game became more physical in the second half. After Smith was issued a red card, the Collinsville players fed off their coach's frustration.
Both teams were playing physical. However, Collinsville became frustrated by either the score, the officiating or a combination of both. The Kahoks began to play more physical, shoulder bumping, elbowing and pushing Panthers players that led to four Kahoks receiving yellow cards -- sophomore forward Mikayla McCarthy, senior forward Kat Roe and senior defenders Alexis Arnold and Kassidy Rawdown.
"Both teams played well," Bales said. "They knew how to play us. They were right in our face. They weren't cutting us any slack. They were on us every chance they got."
Amid the physicality, O'Fallon scored its second goal of the game with 9:33 left in the second half. Senior forward Lauren Knight dribbled past and fought off Collinsville defenders to score from a kick just outside the penalty box. The goal all but secured the victory for the Panthers.
"It was a physical game," O'Fallon coach Craig Dippel said. "We played games that have been physical before. You just got to mentally know you got to play the game. I think we did that, and we got a positive outcome out of it."
The O'Fallon defense held Collinsville to four shots on goal. Senior goalkeeper Hannah Poteet registered the win and the shutout for the Panthers.
"It's a new defense for us this year," Dippel said. "Last year we had a senior-led defense, so it's all new girls for us. They've come a long way. They've worked really hard. I've gotten on them a couple times. Give all the credit in the world to them. They did a great job. Collinsville has got some dynamic players. Hannah Poteet played great. She made some big saves in the second half."
The loss gives Collinsville its first defeat in the conference. Its league record drops to 3-1 and its overall record to 7-2.
O'Fallon improved its overall record to 7-3 and its SWC record to 2-1.
"It was a big win, but we still have to play Belleville East, Edwardsville and Belleville West," Dippel said. "We still have conference games. There are no easy games in the Southwestern Conference. It's a big win, and it's a good step in the right direction for us."