Tuesday evening’s soccer showdown between the O’Fallon Panthers and the Collinsville Kahoks—a much anticipated affair involving two of the top teams in the Southwestern Conference—didn’t turn out to equal its advanced billing.
At least not for the OTHS booters and their fans.
Arguably off to one of their best starts in recent years, the Lady Panthers knew they would have their work cut out for them in facing the Kahoks, who entered the contest with an 8-1-1 record and were still smarting from their first loss of the season last week in the St. Louis Classic.
Collinsville senior Mikayla McCarthy made sure the drama quickly dissipated as she scored consecutive goals in the first 10 minutes of the first half, and the Kahoks were never challenged after that. Sophomore Alynnah O’Leary increased Collinsville’s lead to 3-0 with under seven minutes remaining in the half.
The stunned Panthers finally got on the board with less than three minutes left in the first half when senior Elaine Gorom fired a shot off a free kick that was deflected by Collinsville goalkeeper Morgan Lerch. Panther senior Tori Weiss was waiting patiently in the crease and knocked in the rebound for O’Fallon’s only goal of the night.
“The final score was disappointing,” OTHS coach Craig Dippel said. “In the past few games our players have been able to create a lot of scoring opportunities, but tonight against Collinsville we just didn’t have many chances. We didn’t move as well to the ball as we needed to. Collinsville’s defense deserves credit for making things difficult for our attackers. We played a little better in the second half but obviously not good enough to challenge them.”