MATTOON -- The hand dealt was heavy, but the payoff was sweet.
The Marion High School girls soccer team had to travel to Mattoon in the first round of the postseason but stroked into the final and then beat the host Green Wave, 8-4, Friday night to win the Mattoon 2A Regional championship.
The reward wasn't just a regional plaque, but a chance to play at home again.
The Lady Wildcats now play in their own Marion 2A Sectional on Tuesday night in the first semifinal at 4:30 p.m. against Waterloo, while Troy Triad faces Carbondale in the semifinal that follows.
The championship match will be next Friday at Wildcat Stadium at 6 p.m.
Blake Clark scored a goal from a Paige Newlin assist just three minutes into the match against Mattoon and finished with four goals on the night, giving her 52 for the season and improving her school record total.
Clark's third goal gave the Lady Wildcats a 4-2 lead early in the second half.
Marrisa Basi also scored a goal and had two assists, giving her 32 assists for the season.
Newlin put in her own goal with an assist from Nicole Szidik, then Szidik scored as Newlin collected her third assist in the second half. Szidik added a second goal assisted by Jessica Schuetz, the team's lone senior.
Marion is now 17-4-4 and has tied the school record for wins in a season.