IVC soccer ends season with Regional loss

Justin Miller

Illinois Valley Central's soccer season came to an end Thursday with a 2-1 loss to Dunlap in the home Regional.

"That was a heck of a game," coach Nizam Wadi said. "Our kids played awesome. We started out strong but ended up relaxing too much after we scored, and then Dunlap came back and tied us in the first half. They scored a second goal to win in the second half. "We really went after them and the team played their hearts out. They played beautifully.

"It was a back and forth game for most of the game. The kids were having leg cramps on the field, that's how hard they played. All in all, it was a great season and a great Regional, despite the results."

The game, which was postponed from the day before due to lightning, started with IVC taking a 1-0 lead.

Sam Wang took an assist from Jack Ressler and blasted in the team's only goal in the 19th minute.

Despite giving up two goals, the team's defense kept Dunlap from setting up their fast paced offense throughout the game and only made the two defensive mistakes.

Dunlap then got on the board in the 28th minute and pushed the advantage in the 37th minute.

"Overall, it was a great season," Wadi said. "We tied a couple of games that I'm sure we could have won but when you end up at 9-5-2, it is a good season overall. There are a couple games that we shouldn't have lost, but that's the way the ball rolls sometimes. I'm proud of the kids overall and the effort they put in. This is a very smart, intelligent group that adapted fast to a new system. From all classes, we had players step up big."

Keaton Judy made seven saves for the Ghosts but the team racked up 12 fouls in the loss.

"I couldn't be happier about the future of the program," Wadi said. "We brought up more freshmen to play this year than I think we ever have at IVC. This group is talented and knows the game inside and out. They were exposed to playing varsity this year, and I think they will just be that much better next year. Nothing but great things will happen."

"They enjoyed the season, and I think that's the biggest thing. They played as a team and not a group of individuals."

Wadi had previously said this will be his only year as the head coach of the Grey Ghosts.