STREATOR - Streator sophomore Landon Muntz scored in the opening 10 minutes off a Davey Rashid/Brady Grabowski combined assist.
That proved to be it as far as scoring in Tuesday’s Illinois Central Eight Conference match between the host Bulldogs and visiting Reed-Custer Comets.
It also proved to be enough.
“It was an ugly win, but a win,” Bulldogs coach J.T. Huey said. “We were a little flat, hadn’t played since last Wednesday, and we’d lost our a step and our rhythm, but an ugly win’s a win.”
The ICE rivals played well over an hour of scoreless soccer after Muntz’s icebreaker in the opening minutes, but smooth Streator goalie Noah Camp (seven saves) and aggressive Reed-Custer keeper Sam Dennis (10 saves) kept the tally at 1-0 for the remainder.
Streator — which saw defenders Keaton Yedinak, Parker Phillis, Declan O’Connor and Adam Williamson aid Camp greatly — improves to 12-5 overall and 4-1 on the ICE loop.
The Comets slip to 3-11, 1-4.
“I told the boys I don’t like the phrase ‘good losses,’ because ‘loss’ is in there, but if you’re going to chalk this one up, it’s definitely a good loss,” Reed-Custer coach Andy Gleixner said. “That’s one of the top teams if not the top team in the conference, and we come in here on their field and I thought played them hard.
“Our keeper played outstanding, our defense played well, and we had some chances. I think that’s really good for us moving forward knowing we can compete and keep games like this close.”
Streator dominated possession, but aside from Muntz’s strike and a handful of close misses didn’t get the corresponding shots on goal.
“(Reed-Custer) parked their defense back,” Huey said, “I think they had five backs, and we really struggled finding seams on them. The thing that killed us from finishing the ball, though, is we tried to force the ball down the middle of the field. When you do that, you’re just running into a giant defensive line. ...
“So while we possessed 94%, 95% of the game, we just could not find the net. That’s going to be something we’re going to have to adjust and finish the soccer ball. But give credit to Reed-Custer too. Their goalie was sharp.”
Streator is scheduled to visit ICE opponent Wilmington on Thursday.