EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville girls soccer senior striker Hannah Bielicke has been one of the Tigers’ most important players this season, and on Wednesday afternoon at Tiger Stadium, Bielicke scored the only goal of the match, poking home a corner from Rileigh Kuhns in the 98th minute to give Edwardsville a 1-0 win over Belleville West after extra time in the IHSA Class 3A regional semifinals.

The Tigers advance to the final on Friday afternoon against Granite City, a 1-0 winner over Collinsville in the second semifinal on Wednesday evening.

Bielicke had a very good feeling after scoring the goal that sent Edwardsville through to the final.

“It’s the best feeling ever whenever you play the sport you love, and you get the result you want,” Bielicke said in a post-match interview, “especially how much we fought and competed for one another, and it was all worth it for our team.”

Bielicke thought the goal she scored was the inevitable result of Kuhns’ hard work in getting the cross into the box on corner kicks.

“Rileigh Kuhns had about six corners, and I got something on it almost every time,” Bielicke said, “but it never made it into the back of the net, This time, Rileigh played it in, and it hit off a West girl, and I kneed it in the back of the corner.”

In the state tournament, it’s oftentimes survive and advance, and Bielicke is very happy with how the result turned out.

“I feel, like, I’m really happy,” Bielicke said, “and we all worked together. We worked our butts off for one another, and that’s what a good team does for each other.”

The Maroons had some great chances in the first half, but couldn’t score, and as the match wore on, Edwardsville had the better of the chances.

“We went and talked in the locker room, and we just had to fight for one another,” Bielicke said. “We didn’t want it to be anybody’s last game, and we worked hard for each other.”

The outcome of the Granite City-Collinsville match had yet to be determined during the interview, but Bielicke is looking forward to the final.

“I’m really excited,” Bielicke said. “I’m not sure who we’re going to play, and it doesn’t really matter to me. I just want to win.”

And also down the line is a trip to the sectional, and Bielicke also likes the Tigers’ chances in the sectional as well.

“Yeah, I think we have a good chance,” Bielicke said.

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