Boys soccer: Streator beats storms, Reed-Custer for 5-0 ICE Conference triumph

Weather-shortened match decided by halftime

Streator sophomore Noah Russow

STREATOR – It was a sunny day when the Streator Bulldogs started their Illinois Central Eight Conference soccer match against Reed-Custer on Tuesday at the James Street Rec Area.

Mother Nature intervened at halftime, however, starting with thunder, lightning and a little rain, but not before the Bulldogs put five goals on the scoreboard. Both teams agreed to call the game after those initial 40 minutes, and Streator came away with a 5-0 win, its first conference victory of the season.

“We wanted to build on the momentum we had because we have a tough schedule coming up,” Streator coach J.T. Huey said. “With the weather, player safety comes first.”

It took the Bulldogs only four minutes to take the lead. Striker David Paton found Noah Russow, who was able to slot home a shot past Comets keeper Josh Conger to make it 1-0.

The next score for Streator came from the penalty spot. Landon Muntz was pushed in the penalty area, and a penalty kick was awarded in the 23rd minute, with Russow putting the ball away.

Muntz got on the scoresheet three minutes later when he hit a screamer from long range off passes from Paton and Landon Muhlstadt for a 3-0 home club lead with 20 minutes left and clouds ominously starting to roll in.

Russow then completed his three-assist game with helpers on goals by Pancho Zuniga and Aaron Henson, making it a 5-0 Bulldogs advantage heading to halftime.

“Those guys in the middle, with Russow and those guys, they can ball,” Reed-Custer coach Andy Gleixner said, his team now 4-10-1 overall, 0-4 in the ICE. “We knew coming in it was going to be a tall task.”

Streator (5-8-1, 1-4) hosts United Township in a nonconference game Thursday back at the James Street Rec Area, then starts next week with two matches in Grundy County – Tuesday at Coal City and Wednesday at Morris.

Reed-Custer, meanwhile, is home against Coal City at 6 p.m. Thursday and hosts Fisher on Saturday for a 10 a.m. opening kickoff.