BELLEVILLE — It was a game of firsts Friday for Collinsville freshman Emily Holten.
Holten registered her first hat trick and header as the top-seeded Kahoks drubbed third-seeded Belleville West 5-0 in the championship game of the Class 3A Belleville West Regional.
"It was awesome," said Holten, who leads Collinsville with 12 goals. "I was very nervous (before the game). But the nerves made me play harder. My team helped me settle down, too. We worked together. I love playing with them."
Collinsville (14-5-2) will play Southwestern Conference rival Edwardsville (21-1) in the semifinals of the Normal Sectional at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Gordon Moore Park in Alton. Edwardsville outscored Granite City 2-1 on penalty kicks to win the Granite City Regional 1-0 on Friday.
The Kahoks nipped visiting Edwardsville 1-0 on March 27 on a goal by junior Sophie Sharos. Since then, the Tigers have won 18 in a row.
Junior Mikayla McCarthy and freshman Andrea Frerker also had goals for the Kahoks and senior Holly Bluemner had the shutout against West, which finished 10-8-3. The Maroons lost to Collinsville 1-0 on April 8, with the lone goal coming on a penalty kick.
"They've got a good squad over there," West coach Jason Mathenia said. "(But) is this what I expected? No. Absolutely not."
Holten provided the Kahoks with the only goal they needed at 11 minutes, 12 seconds, when she rifled a shot from the right side that carried over West senior keeper Mackenzie White.
It was still 1-0 when Maroons junior Sydnee Carroll drove down the left side, beat a defender and cross in the box to junior Carli Tastad.
Tastad got to the ball, made a touch and pushed a shot off the right crossbar at 44:47. Collinsville was able to clear, and less than four minutes later, extended its lead to 2-0 on Holten's header in the middle of the box off a free kick from senior Matty Merlak.
"I thought when we were down 1-0 and hit one off the post ... Anything could have changed after that (had it gone in)," Mathenia said. "I'm sure Coach (Clay) Smith was well aware of, 'Wow, luck was on our side as far as them not scoring that one.' That changed the tempo, it changed the outlook of the game, it changed the passion.
"Then they get the second one and we're still battling. But at that point, they were going to keep coming at us."
McCarthy's goal made it 3-0 at 66:03. It came on a cross from Frerker, but officials huddled momentarily to discuss whether McCarthy was offsides. It was ruled that she was not, and the goal held to put the Kahoks in firm control.
Holten's goal from the right side of the box at 73:03 made it 4-0. Frerker made it 5-0 at 75:11 after the Maroons were unable to clear a loose ball from their box.
Smith was overcome with emotion after watching his players celebrate with their regional plaque.
"To come out and put a performance in like this tonight against a good team like Belleville West ... I mean, they're a great team, and things were stacked against us; we were on their field," Smith said. "These girls weren't given much of a shot at the beginning of the season. They do a lot through hard work and determination."
Smith was thrilled with Holten's contributions.
"I'm not sure if she really understands the magnitude of what she did yet," he said. "But as a freshman, coming in here and scoring three goals in a regional final, that's big-time."
Triad 6, Waterloo 1
In the championship game of the Class 2A Mascoutah Regional on Friday, the Triad Knights had no trouble against the Bulldogs.
The Knights, champions of the Mississippi Valley Conference, scored three goals in each half to turn the game into a rout.
Seniors Sachi Kobayashi and Stephanie Norkus, juniors Kailey Duncan and Morgan Mell, sophomore Allison Wendt and freshman Meaghan Smith scored goals for the Knights (14-5-5), who advanced to the semifinals of the Chatham Glenwood Sectional.
Junior Darby Nugent scored the only goal for Waterloo, which closed its season with a 16-6-1 record.
Triad will play Springifeld or Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin in the semifinals of the Chatham Glenwood Sectional at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2665