Ghost soccer split pair of games for week

Justin Miller

The Illinois Valley Central soccer team played a thrilling game at Metamora Thursday but fell, 1-0, near the end.

"For us, I thought that was a great game," coach Nizam Wadi said. "It was a big challenge going into it. We knew that it was going to be a tough game and it was. End to end, we played them tough and had a good game.

"It was a great game for the kids. I challenged them before the game to elevate their level of play and they did. They came through and played them tough."

The Redbirds scored the game's only goal in the 76th minute.

"Metamora has been winning against the bigger schools in the area," Wadi said. "It was big for us to play as well as we did and for the kids to know that on any given night they can play that well. It was a big game for us in terms of confidence."

Keaton Judy made seven saves for the Ghosts during the game, ncluding a diving stop in the 13th minute.

"Keaton Judy came up big for us in the goal," Wadi said. "He made multiple saves throughout the game and really stepped up. Conner Bogner and Alan Parr were huge for us in front of the defense."

The team hosted LaSalle Peru Saturday and won, 11-0.

"They are one of those schools where the program is only three or four years old and have had their struggles this season," Wadi said. "You hate to win games that big. We ended up working on a lot of things in the game that we have been working on in practice, like certain set plays and passing."

Sam Wang scored three goals for the Ghosts and Matt Kessler added two.

"We tried to minimize the score as much as we could," Wadi said. "Ten minutes into the game we knew that it would be fairly easy for us so we wanted to work on some things in a game environment."

The team next plays at 5 p.m. Oct. 3 at Orion.

"We will have about 11 days off between our last game Saturday and the Regional," Wadi said. "We want to make sure that everybody stays healthy and that nobody gets hurt. We also want to refine what we are working on and that is moving the ball around with speed and focus."

The team ends the regular season at noon Saturday at home against Morton.

"We want everybody to stay focused and make sure everybody knows what we want to do on the field and what their positions are with and without the ball," Wadi said. "That is going to take some time, but we will have the time to work on it."