Undefeated Mendota got past upset-minded No. 6 Newark-Seneca 3-1 in Tuesday’s Class 1A regional soccer semifinals at Serena, but it didn’t come easy.
The Trojans (20-0) held an eye-popping 45-1 advantage in total shots, including 23-1 on goal, but that sole shot on target by the Norsemen found its way into the net and made it a one-goal game with just under 17 minutes to play.
However, Mendota did not allow another Newark-Seneca chance the rest of the way while Johnathan Cortez added an insurance tally – his second goal of the game – with eight minutes to go to secure the win.
Mendota now will look to win a third-straight title when it faces the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal between Serena and DePue-Hall at 4 p.m. on Friday at Serena.
“[Newark-Seneca] came in with a game plan of really packing it in defensively and we struggled with it,” Mendota coach Nick Myers said. “We talked over and over about the fact that we can’t overlook anyone, but I know as players it’s hard not to. We are going to get every opponent’s best effort and I’m positive that will be the case like it was today whether we face Serena or DePue(-Hall). That’s what happens to any team that is a No. 1 seed and both those teams are solid.”
Today’s semifinal pits No. 4 Serena vs. No. 5 DePue-Hall at 4 p.m.
In first-round matches, Newark-Seneca beat No. 11 Yorkville Christian 4-0 and DePue-Hall routed No. 12 Sandwich 8-1.
UPDATE: Wednesday’s semifinal match was moved to Thursday between No. 4 Serena vs. No. 5 DePue-Hall at 4 p.m.
Rock Island Regional
Regional semifinals kick off today at the Alleman Complex. Somonauk meets No. 8 Alleman at 4:30 p.m. followed by No. 3 Earlville vs. No. 10 Riverdale.
Today’s winners will meet in the regional finals at 6 p.m. Friday.
In opening round matches, Riverdale upset No. 5 Princeton 2-1 while Alleman knocked out No. 9 Kewanee 4-3.