BELLEVILLE — Known for their defense and strong strategical philosophy, the Edwardsville turned a little offensive on Tuesday at Belleville East High School.
Midfielders Landon Paul and Tommy Giacobbe scored goals less then two minutes apart late in the first half to highlight a rare Tigers offensive outburst as Edwardsville went on to defeat Belleville East 5-2 in a Southwestern Conference soccer game.
Tied at 2 following a goal by the Lancers' Dayton Durzo with 14 minutes 13 seconds left in the first half, Edwardsville (4-1) went to work.
Paul beat the Lancers defense to score with just under nine minutes remaining and less then two minutes later, Giacobbe scored from point blank range to put Edwardsville up 4-2.
The Tigers offensive surge, although surprising to some, didn't come as a big shock to veteran coach Mark Heiderscheid.
"At Edwardsville, you lock teams in and try to shut them out and you win 1-0 or 2-0. That's been our adage in the past. This year we have the personnel, we hope, to be able to finish more goals,'' Heiderscheid said. "Tonight we did that. We gave ourselves a lot of opportunities and we finished some very nice goals.''
The loss drops Belleville East to 2-2 on the season and while the Lancers held Edwardsville to a draw in the second half, a poor first half effort left them in a deep hole and got them a stern lecture from coach Mark Lasley at halftime.
"It worked because we came out and played much better in the second half. My point was that I shouldn't have to get on the team to make it play hard,'' Lasley said. "We didn't communicate and we the effort just wasn't there in the first half.
"I mean there is no excuse for not playing hard. There are a lot of people who would have loved to have been out here playing soccer tonight. But we played better in the second half.
Edwardsville came out and played well from the start. Tigers junior Suleman Bazai got around the Lancers defense for a goal with 5:08 gone in the game and when Brent Heinlein drilled home a shot from 25-yards out less then five minutes later, the Tigers had a 2-0 led with still 31 minutes left in the first half.
That lead lasted just six seconds as on the kickoff, Lancers senior forward Austin Wilson drilled a shot that tipped off the fiinger tips of Tigers goalie Patrick England and into the net.
"He (Wilson) said he thought the goalie was out of position and that it was worth a shot. It worked out,'' Lasley said. "I haven't seen that happen much where a guy scores on the kickoff. Its very rare, but Austin really hit it good and it went n.
Just 17 minutes latter, Durzo tied the game at 2. But the offensive firepower of the Tigers proved to be too much for the Lancers to handle on this night.