Despite being forced to play into the wind in the first half Tuesday night, the Collinsville boys soccer team managed to put Quincy keeper Mark Cleveland on his heels.
In the second half, the Blue Devils tumbled backward.
The Kahoks scored twice in a 90-second span midway through the second half and added an insurance goal with 16 minutes to play, posting a 3-0 victory in the Class 3A sectional semifinals at Belleville West High School.
“I was shocked for two reasons,” Kahoks coach Clay Smith said. “No. 1, that we did that because we hadn’t done that all year. No. 2, that it came against such a well-coached and athletic team like Quincy.
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“It’s happened to us, but I think we found a keeper who didn’t want those shots, the ones that were back a little bit. We stressed at halftime to keep on getting it to goal.”
Scoreless at halftime, Collinsville (12-7-2) took control in the 53rd minute when Zachary Stenger lofted a ball into the penalty area that Josh Wobbe was able to get a head on and push the shot over Quincy keeper Mark Cleveland.
Less than 90 seconds later, the Kahoks’ Nick Suria flighted a ball toward the goal that carried over Cleveland and went off his fingertips for a 2-0 lead.
“You could just tell on everyone’s faces ... Heartbreak,” Quincy forward Dalton Gilbert said.
Collinsville outshot Quincy 7-4 in the second half and 14-11 overall, testing Cleveland with two dribblers in the first minute and putting consistent pressure on the goal.
The Kahoks had nine shots on goal.
“There’s no doubt they wanted to come in and attack,” Quincy coach Matt Longo said. “You have to have a game plan. We tried to go at them from the wings, but we didn’t attack the wings as much as we should have.”
Still, there were opportunities to take the lead.
Seven minutes into the game, Quincy midfielder J.D. Sohn played a ball through the defense to set up Gilbert one-on-one with Collinsville keeper Brett Niedzwiecki. Gilbert’s shot was stonewalled, one of five first-half saves Niedzwiecki made.
He also stonewalled Sohn in the 27th minute after Sohn made a run up the right side and pistoled a shot toward the near post.
“We had a few key opportunities that we didn’t finish,” Quincy midfielder Drew Chisholm said.
The Kahoks didn’t miss theirs.
“We knew they were a handful in transition, especially when they get J.D. Into space,” Smith said. “We held on and got to halftime. It was a different team in the second half.”