West girls soccer coach Jason Mathenia
Belleville West allowed its first goal of the season Tuesday but the Maroons still were able to salvage a 1-1 tie against Southwestern Conference power Edwardsville.
Sophomore Courtney Vollmer scored for the Maroons (5-1-1, 0-0-1) at 49 minutes, 53 seconds, and sophomore Paityn Schneider countered with the tying goal for Edwardsville at 72:58.
West junior goalie Bailey Redden then dominated a pair of 10-minute overtime periods, turning in key saves against heavy pressure by the Tigers (3-2-1, 0-1-1).
“Obviously, I’m going to say this because she’s my keeper, but she’s got to be one of the best keepers around right now. She does a very good job,” Maroons coach Jason Mathenia said. “She made some unbelievable point-blank saves tonight. She did an outstanding job in the net. ... She deserved to have a shutout.”
Edwardsville coach Abby Comerford also complimented Redden, who was particularly productive in the first overtime when she stopped shots from inside the box by senior Ashlin West, junior Danielle Greathouse and Schneider.
“She had a great game,” Comerford said. “She had quite a few huge saves. Even a few that we were trying to slip through the corner, she was able to get. I don’t know how tall she is, but she’s a big girl. We knew she had that height; we did our best.”
An Edwardsville foul on the right side created a restart for West, which capitalized when sophomore Abby Haas punched a free kick to the far post, where Vollmer finished in traffic.
“Courtney was sitting at the back post. She was in the right place,” Mathenia said. “She anticipated that ball coming across like that. There were a lot of bodies in there.”
The Tigers turned on the heat, however, and senior Taylor Hansen’s free kick from the left side found Schneider for a goal deep in the box. It was the first goal allowed by West this season.
“That’s huge,” Comerford said. “The girls knew they had to score. Once they figured that out and were able to capitalize, it was really nice to see. Taylor has been doing a fantastic job and is a huge part of our defense.”
Comerford was disappointed Edwardsville couldn’t do more with its chances.
“We have a lot to work on,” she said. “It’s still early in the season. It’s a tough tie to take.”
Mathenia wasn’t dissatisfied.
“Both sides battled,” he said. “There were good opportunities on both sides. Unfortunately, it was the first goal we’ve given up all season. But to still end with a tie, I’m not overly pleased, but not disappointed at the same time.”