The Collinsville Kahoks are giving every indication that they will be an immovable force in the regular season and beyond.
Collinsville received goals from five different players Tuesday and blanked Belleville West 5-0 in a key Southwestern Conference game.
Senior Mikayla McCarthy and sophomore Andrea Frerker scored first-half goals and senior Sophia Sharos, sophomore Emily Holten and freshman Jalyn Richardson tallied in the second half as the Kahoks improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the SWC. Sophomore Morgan Lerch posted the shutout in goal.
Collinsville has outscored its foes 24-2 even before playing a home game.
“It’s a huge win. We had a lot of fun playing,” Frerker said. “I think every game’s a challenge and we always come in focused and ready to play. We were obviously ready for this game. We put two in the net the first half and that set us up really well.”
It was the first loss of the season for the Maroons (5-1-2, 0-1-1), who fell behind for good at 15 minutes, 56 seconds when McCarthy hit a shot off the hands of freshman keeper Bailey Redden after West was unable to clear the ball from deep in the box.
The Maroons hung tough until Frerker scored to make it 2-0 at 38:50. Frerker accepted a pass from Sharos on the right side and was unmarked in the middle of the box. She dribbled ahead and finished easily to give the Kahoks a huge lift heading into the half.
“Sophia makes a great run to the near post and it opens up tons of space for Andrea to be able to strike that ball,” Collinsville coach Clay Smith said. “That’s a big goal. We wanted one more before the end of the half, and yeah, that was a big one. (Frerker) is a very dynamic player with the ball at her feet. For her to put her head up and place that one is good skill, good composure.”
Sophomore Alynnah O’Leary’s corner kick was finished by Sharos in front of the right post at 52:19 to make it 3-0. Holten made it 4-0 at 60:59 on an own goal that caromed off the feet of West senior Carly Ratay, Richardson’s goal at 71:48 made it 5-0 and came after a lack of communication between Redden and junior defender Emma Gregowicz.
Maroons coach Jason Mathenia believed four of Collinsville’s goals were avoidable.
“I don’t know if it got away from us early,” Mathenia said. “The first 10, 12 minutes, I felt we had the better course of play. They get the first one on a miskick; that’s what our postgame (talk) was about. We felt we gave them four of them on bad mistakes on our part. Give them credit for finding the back of the net. They’re a very good team and they have a way to finish.
“I felt we were in it. We came out the second half and it was a similar situation. Ten minutes in, we were creating chances and moments. Then another mistake occurs on our end and they capitalize on it. When you play good teams, they’ll find a way to make you make mistakes, and they capitalize on them. That’s what they did, in my opinion.”
Collinsville has had nine different goal-scorers this season, led by Sharos with seven and McCarthy and Holten with five apiece.
“Offensively, we found our stride,” Smith said. “Offensively, we know what we have. We know we have a lot of different girls who can put the ball in the net. Defensively was going to be the test tonight, and I think we stuck to it. (West) having a threat like Sydnee Carroll up top and the rest of the supporting cast they have ... They have a lot of goal-scorers as well. We reacted pretty well. It’s nice to get a shutout.”
It was the fourth consecutive shutout for Collinsville, which will play host to Alton at 6:45 p.m. Thursday in its first home game of the season.
West, meanwhile, will be back in action Tuesday against at Granite City. Mathenia hopes the Maroons continue to improve and get another shot at the Kahoks in the postseason.
“Hopefully, we take care of our adjustments throughout the next six, seven weeks and will see them again in the playoffs,” Mathenia said.