With two weeks left in the regular season, the Geneseo girls' soccer team has been doing some fine tuning so it can hit its stride heading into next months' Class 2A United Township Regional.|
The Maple Leafs offensive performance on Saturday at Public Schools Stadium showed they are already well on their way to being a well-oiled machine.
Using speed, strong ball skills and a balanced offensive attack through the midfield, Geneseo overwhelmed Rock Island, 6-0, in a battle between two squads that are scheduled to face each other in the regional semifinals on May 15.
"We are hitting that part of the season where we should be clicking from the defense up to the forwards and I think we are starting to do that,'' said Geneseo coach Ian Kline. "I'm never really happy, but I know we are doing a lot of good things right now and girls are finding ways to get things done."
Geneseo's offensive attack was so strong that it not only left Rocky tired and worn down, but left coach Conan Dalton with very few words after the match.
"We were outmached in almost every position and we just couldn't match their intensity,'' said Dalton. "I can't really say much except that we will go back to practice and work on a few things and hopefully match up better with them next time."
The Maple Leafs (8-2-1) scoring charge was highlighted by senior Mallory Wirth and junior Hannah Pace with two goals and assist each. Pace, along with junior Heather Setser, was the reason for most of Geneseo's 20 shots on goal as it was too fast contain on the outsides of the field with their speed and did a good job moving the ball to teammates once in scoring positions.
"Those two knew how to play, where to play and what their jobs were in those positions with the opportunities presented to them today," said Kline. "We place those players out their for specific reasons and they seem to show that's why they are there."
It didn't take long for Geneseo to get on the scoreboard. Three minutes into the game, Setser took the ball up the right side of the field and slid the ball across the mouth of the goal box and Wirth was there to drill the ball into the net.
Pace found the back of the net 21 minutes later to make it 2-0 before assisting a Rachel Smith goal with :48 seconds left in the half. Rachel Morton converted a penalty kick in the 52nd minute before Wirth and Pace capped the scoring with their second goals of the match.
Alleman 8, Galesburg 0: Andria Serra's five goals helped the Pioneers to the Western Big 6 Conference win at McKenzie Field. Serra scored three times in the first eight minutes as Alleman extended its winning streak to four matches.
"She's finally starting to relax when she's getting in the box," Alleman coach Randy Bollman said of Serra, who has an Illinois Quad-Cities Metro-leading 17 goals. "Definitely a big day."
Alleman (9-2, 2-2 Big 6) looked strong in the first half, scoring six goals in the first 20 minutes. In their last two matches, the Pioneers have nine first-half goals.
"We've been focusing on that the last couple weeks," Bollman said. "Getting three goals in eight minutes, we're picking up that part of the game."
Emily Bollman added two goals and two assists, Katie Lohse scored once and Macy Hoskins recorded her sixth shutout in net. Alleman now has a pair of four-match winning streaks this year.
Moline takes third: The Maroons (12-4) took third in their own State Line Challenge after splitting two matches. Moline tied Lemont 1-1, but lost 4-3 in a penalty-kick shootout. It earned a 4-0 win over Racine (Wis.) Prairie in the third-place match.
Kelsi Smith recorded a hat trick in the third-place game, and Bri Hughes and Sarah Hillbloom each had a goal on the day. Hughes tallied two assists as well.
Orion-Sherrard wins title: Needing to split into two teams at the Orion-Sherrard Invitational after a team dropped out earlier in the week, Orion-Sherrard went 5-0-1 on the day. The Orion-Sherrard A-team beat Peoria Manual (4-0) and Princeton (1-0) before tying Sterling (1-1). The B-squad topped DePue (5-0), Manual (2-0) and Sterling (1-0).
Baillie McCunn had four goals on the day, Ashlie McCunn added three and Cassidy Clark tallied one and recorded two shutouts in goal.
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