The early pool play advantage goes to the Lady Lancers.

St. Clair (5-4) kept things even with St. Pius X (4-4), 1-1, in the first half Monday at the Hillsboro Tournament, but the Lady Lancers added a second goal in the second period to nudge out the win.

“I really thought we played hard and competed all night,” St. Clair Head Coach Tim Isgrig said. “They were a good team, and I really thought we battled them. We had a lot of opportunities in the second half, and we played with a lot of urgency. We just couldn’t get one in to tie it up. The last 10 minutes we forced multiple corners and really pushed hard, just came up short.”

St. Pius X struck first on a goal by Bella Barbagallo in the first 10 minutes.

Sammi Nickerson punched in the equalizer on a 25-yard free kick midway through the first half.

“Makayla Johnson and Ally Newton really played well in the middle of the field,” Isgrig said. “Sammi played a really good game for us in the back. She scored the tying goal but also broke up a lot of scoring opportunities for them.”

AJ Agers put in the deciding goal at approximately the 55th minute of play.

Riley Cappozzo was credited with an assist for the Lady Lancers.

“Joey Jesionowski made a great save on a PK and also prevented them from scoring on a late breakaway,” Isgrig said of St. Clair’s freshman goalkeeper. “She’s getting better and better.”

St. Clair continued pool play Tuesday against Fredericktown and concludes the preliminary rounds Thursday against Perryville at 4:30 p.m. The event is scheduled to end Saturday.