O'FALLON, ILL. — It didn't matter where the shots came from, as long as they came early and often.
That was the goal for Tagg Baker and his Collinsville boys soccer teammates.
Collinsville unleashed a barrage of shots and connected on two, knocking off Belleville West 2-0 on Tuesday in the first round of the Class 3A O'Fallon Regional at O'Fallon High School.
Collinsville (13-8) advanced to the regional final for the fifth consecutive season and will play O'Fallon (14-4-2) at 6 p.m. Saturday for the title at O'Fallon High.
"We're just lucky to have a good second half this year," Collinsville coach Rob Lugge said. "We struggled to start off and we've been working on things in training and things are starting to go our way and we're happy to be here."
Collinsville took 11 shots on goal and swarmed over Belleville West (6-13-1) early in the first half.
The Maroons' defense didn't break until senior midfielder Nick Corzine scored on a 30-yard rip late in the first half to give the Kahoks a 1-0 lead.
"They've gotten better every time we've seen them," Lugge said. "It was a relief just to get that goal. We had chances, they had chances. Once we got that first goal, we were able to breathe a sigh of relief."
Collinsville senior goalkeeper Logan Rader earned his eighth shutout of the season.
Baker got the insurance goal early in the second half as he sprinted past the defense and blasted a shot from outside the 20-yard line and past the goalie to give the Kahoks a 2-0 lead.
"I just took my time, lifted my head and saw the space I had and I continued to dribble," Baker said. "They weren't coming out to me, so I just shot it."
After starting the season 4-7, Collinsville has rattled off eight straight victories.
"It's weird to say that we lost games but we didn't play bad," Lugge said. "We just couldn't score goals. These last couple of weeks the ball has been bouncing our way and we were able to finish. We didn't do anything different in training, it's just the ball is going in the net finally."