COLLINSVILLE — For the Collinsville Kahoks, it was another edition of the Reiniger and Roe Show.
Alyssa Reiniger had a goal and Kat Roe had a goal and an assist Friday as Collinsville defeated Normal 2-1 in the championship game of the Class 3A Collinsville Sectional.
Reiniger's goal from Roe at 23 minutes, 10 seconds tied the game at 1 before Roe delivered the winner at 65:31 on a blistering free kick from 26 yards out. Roe has scored a goal in each of Collinsville's last nine postseason games.
"I had three or four (shots) before that and (Normal goalie Natalie Fletcher) either made a save or they weren't on target," said Roe, a senior forward who has a team-high 23 goals and 12 assists.
"I thought, 'This could be it,'" she said of her free kick, which sailed well beyond Fletcher's reach inside the right post. "I knew it wasn't going over (the goal) and it was going right over her hands. Right when I struck it, I knew it was going in."
Collinsville (17-6) avenged a 3-1 loss to the Ironmen (18-6-1) on April 27 at the Adidas Tournament in Burlington, Iowa, and earned a rematch with defending state champion Naperville North (19-0-2) and its star player, Kentucky recruit Zoe Swift, in the Normal Super-Sectional on Tuesday.
Naperville North, which defeated Waubonsie Valley 2-1 in the Bolingbrook Sectional final Friday, ended Collinsville's season 4-1 in the Normal Super-Sectional last year as Swift scored two goals.
"I just gave Kat a hug and said, 'Thanks for saving me again," Kahoks coach Clay Smith said after the narrow win over Normal. "That was a great shot on goal. It was there; we just had to put it on frame. She rises to the occasion. There's not too many girls on this team that don't rise to this occasion."
Collinsville fell behind 1-0 at 5:48 after a foul deep in its end. Normal senior Holly Gregory, a Purdue recruit, twisted a shot around the Kahoks wall and inside the right post from about the same spot as Roe's game-winner.
Gregory's goal was her 31st of the season, but the Ironmen were unable to build momentum against the Kahoks' smothering defense led by seniors Kassidy Rawdon, Brooke Blasingame and Alexis Arnold and sophomore Matty Merlak.
Collinsville's offense, meanwhile, kept the pressure on by outshooting Normal 23-6.
"First of all, they defended us extremely well," Ironmen coach Matt Chapman said. "I think we probably could have moved a little bit better off the ball, but that was a credit to them. Every time we did, they were there.
"So I give a ton of credit to their defense for just locking us down a little bit, and then I think what that did was create opportunities for them. They would send balls forward, and they've got studs up front. They've got some really good players up there."
Reiniger's goal in front of the left post on a forward feed from Roe eased any anxiety the Kahoks might have felt from falling behind 1-0. It was Reiniger's 14th goal of the season.
"She got the ball on her feet and looked up," Reiniger said. "We made eye contact; she saw me run through and knew right where I was going. I got a nice touch on it and put it right past the keeper. It was a good combo."
Reiniger said she always is on the same page with Roe.
"We've been playing together for so long," Reiniger said. "We're practicing and playing all season long."
The Kahoks nearly went ahead in the final 10 minutes of the first half when Blasingame's header off a Roe corner kick was high.
Collinsville stayed dangerous in the second half. In the first five minutes, Roe shot wide left on a throw-in by Reiniger that went to the far side of the box. In the 52nd minute, Fletcher saved Roe's free kick after sophomore Sophie Sharos was fouled outside the box.
Sophomore Abby Wicklein shot high off a Roe corner kick in the 56th minute. Roe finally snapped the tie nine minutes later.
"We dominated play, but we had trouble finishing tonight, which I never thought we would really say," Smith said. "The first two minutes of the game, we missed a barrage of shots --a couple that should have been in. Then they get us on quick restart. It was a great shot, a great finish. But we can't let that happen."
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2665.