O'FALLON — Collinsville senior Alyssa Reiniger couldn't have found a better scoring option in the middle of the box Friday.
Reiniger fed senior Kat Roe from the right corner and Roe finished what proved to be the winning goal in the first of two 10-minute overtimes, leading the Kahoks past O'Fallon 3-2 in the championship game of the Class 3A O'Fallon Regional.
"I could tell (the defender) was on my heels," Reiniger said. "I didn't think I could take it to the goal because Hannah (Poteet), their goalie, was cutting a good angle. So I figured I could cut it back, and I saw Kat coming in. I played her the ball and she had a great finish. She put it right over Hannah's head. That's a really good shot."
The goal, which came at 82 minutes, 9 seconds, advanced Collinsville (15-6) into the semifinals of the Collinsville Sectional at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Edwardsville (12-5-4). The Tigers blasted Quincy 4-0 to win the Edwardsville Regional on Friday.
O'Fallon, which battled back from a 2-0 deficit to knot the game at 2 in the second half, finished 16-6. The Panthers were without their leading scorer, senior Lauren Knight, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the semifinals against Belleville West.
"We knew we could come back and we did it," said Poteet, who again was sensational in goal despite the loss. "(But) the third goal by Kat Roe was amazing. She knew I was out; she checked me and it was a great goal. There was a little slot between Elaine Gorom and Alexis Brunner. (Roe) took it to her toe and flicked it up.
"It's one of those things I'll look back on and laugh at because it's Kat. We play (Scott) Gallagher together and she knows me. She's got great talent and great foot skills. Her just flicking that over my head was kind of surprising to me. I didn't see it coming."
Collinsville coach Clay Smith has seen it many times.
"In the second half when they came back and tied it, we weren't getting much offensive pressure applied," Smith said. "So we switched our formation a little bit to push Kat up so she could get more involved in the play. She was kind of sitting back, being defensive and being passive. ... It paid off. Kat buried it."
O'Fallon coach Craig Dippel wasn't too concerned since Reiniger was so deep in the corner of the field.
"We saw her go to the corner and we think, 'That's where we want her,'" Dippel said. "We'd rather have them go to the corner than down the middle. They're very dangerous down the middle. But she was able to get the ball out and find (Roe), and she hit a good shot."
Collinsville generated two goals in a 14-second span to grab a 2-0 lead in the first half.
Sophomore Mikayla McCarthy beat Gorom to a loose ball and scored at 26:39 when she lofted a shot from the left side of the box, over a charging Poteet. Reiniger scored from about the same spot with a well-placed shot at 26:53.
The Panthers applied steady pressure in the second half, dominating Collinsville in a 17-minute stretch that enabled them to tie the game on goals by junior Sydney Pfankuch and junior Quin Wilkes.
Wilkes' assist from the right side led to Pfankuch's goal from about 20 yards out that settled into the upper-left side of the netting at 48:25. Pfankuch had the assist on the tying goal with a corner kick to the middle of the box that found Wilkes for a header at 56:07.
"The second half was just about believing in yourself," Dippel said. "We had been there before. We've scored a lot of goals. ... (We knew) we could come back. We made a couple of positional changes, which helped. But the credit goes to our girls. They believed in themselves."
Reiniger hit the post in the 64th minute, and Poteet twice robbed Roe of goals during a 10-second span in the 72nd minute.
McCarthy nearly gave Collinsville the lead in the 77th minute, but after making a long run, her shot caromed off the right post.
O'Fallon's best chance to score came after a Collinsville foul in the second overtime. Gorom's 30-yard free kick was on target, but Kahoks junior goalie Holly Bluemner made a leaping save a few inches under the crossbar.
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at email@example.com or 239-2665.