Collinsville senior Eric Tejada considers him and senior teammate Luis De Anda as being “unstoppable.”
There was no disputing that assessment Tuesday when Tejada scored two goals and De Anda had one in the Kahoks’ 4-0 victory over Belleville West in a Southwestern Conference game.
“Me and my boy Luis up top are pretty much unstoppable,” Tejada said. “We’re a dynamic duo. What can I say? We heard a lot about these (Belleville West) guys coming in, but they weren’t really anything to us. We just worked the ball well and scored three early.”
Tejada, who played academy soccer the last two years after being at Triad as a freshman, has four goals, the same number as De Anda.
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“Both of us have good chemistry together. We’re really good friends,” Tejada said. “We work well off each other. There’s some friendly competition; we’ve got that going. But if we’re winning, we don’t really care who scores. We’re just having fun.”
Collinsville coach Clay Smith said Tejada and De Anda are merely “excited.”
“It’s a new combination and they’re doing pretty well,” said Smith, whose team improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the SWC. “They do feed off one another up there and they work extremely hard to help one another out. Yeah, there’s reason to be excited. They’re fun to watch.”
Tough game for Maroons
West (0-1 overall, 0-1 SWC) had high hopes entering its season opener, but it fell behind for good at 16 minutes, 57 seconds when Tejada scored from senior Drake Barker.
De Anda scored unassisted into an empty net at 26:27 to make it 2-0 and and sophomore Jacob Hamann scored unassisted at 36:48, also into an open net, to make it 3-0. On both goals, Maroons junior keeper Trevor Pentland came off his line to try to make a save.
Tejada closed the scoring at 65:10, hitting a shot from inside the box that went off Pentland’s hands and into the goal to make it 4-0.
“Tejada and De Anda were a handful,” West coach Rob Thornberry said. “It took us a while to close down their space. We played a better second half. (But) we had first-game jitters out there a little bit. The first half, we were on our heels.”
Collinsville junior Brett Niedzwiecki had the shutout in goal.
Gouveia held down
Maroons senior Sean Gouveia, an all-conference selection as a freshman who played at the academy level the last two years, was throttled by the Kahoks’ back line.
“They limited his space,” Thornberry said. “He found some space in the second half and was able to set some things up. He was more effective in the second half. But obviously, we’ve got work to do.”
Smith was concerned about Gouveia.
“My two center backs are pretty strong,” Smith said, referring to juniors Clay Hartman and Jordan Blasingame. “I put it on them to just contain him. We wanted to have one guy behind him and one guy in front of him to cut off some passing lanes and limit his touches going to goal. If you limit his touches on the ball, he can’t hurt you.”
Collinsville will play host to Highland at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. West will play visiting Waterloo at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.