Soccer: Morris girls blank Streator to advance in sectional
Will play at top-seeded Lemont on Tuesday
By Rob Oesterle
MORRIS – It stands to reason in a game like soccer that the more shots a team takes, the better chance that team has of scoring.
In Friday’s Class 2A sectional quarterfinal against Streator, the Morris girls soccer team proved that theory.
After a scoreless first half, Morris peppered Streator goalie Sydney Donahue with shots. Donahue turned them all away until Fran Cummings scored off an assist from Lauren Shear with 16:02 left to play. Payton Lewis scored with 3:44 remaining off a throw-in by Karrina Riley to cap the scoring in Morris’ 2-0 victory.
“I got a good assist from Lauren,” Cummings said of her goal. “She made a perfect pass and I was able to put it in the net. We really attacked them in the second half.”
Since the IHSA went with sectionals in Class 1A and 2A girls soccer, the Redskins (11-4) don’t get an official regional championship plaque, but it is the first time they have been in a sectional semifinal since 2014 and only the third time in school history.
“We stepped things up in the second half,” Lewis said. “We haven’t been to a sectional semifinal since 2014, and we knew we wanted to get there. We kept working hard.”
Morris was on the offensive all night but couldn’t find a way to score. The Redskins’ best chance came late in the first half when Payton Kjellesvik had an open look, but the ball hit the goal’s crossbar and bounded away.
Also in the first half, Streator had a good scoring opportunity after a goal kick. The ball ricocheted back toward the sideline, where Streator’s Bridget McGuirk had come in after making the goal kick. McGuirk had a clear look at the goal, but Morris defender Mckenna Montgomery sped in and kicked the ball away.
“We knew Streator was going to be tough,” Morris coach Steve Rain said. “They are a scrappy team and they have a good keeper. It took two perfect shots for us to get anything past her. Anything else, she stopped.
“We had enough shots going at the goal. We have been working on feeling where the goal is instead of looking at it, and that’s what happened on our two goals.”
Streator (9-12) finished with six shots on goal and had a pair of corner kicks. Donahue finished with 13 saves.
“It was a battle until about the last 15 minutes,” Streator coach JT Huey said. “These girls have gone through a lot this year with quarantines and injuries, but they put up a good fight.
“We are a young team, and you can’t beat experience like this. We start seven freshmen or sophomores, so this will do nothing but help them and the future of the program.”