Soccer falls in Regional match

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers

After a 2-1 victory in the Regional play-in game over Illini Bluffs, the IVC varsity soccer team’s season was cut short when facing Peoria Christian.

The No. 1 seed Chargers forced a 6-0 shutout on the Grey Ghosts at the EastSide Centre Oct. 14.

IVC closed the season out, 7-9-3, with first-year coach Nolan Wilson.

The rain drizzled down and mud was kicking up from the cleats of both teams to make things even more difficult in the Regional semifinal match.

“It’s tough when it’s like this because you never know what the ball is going to do,” Wilson said.

“It does funky stuff. It affected both teams, honestly, and footing was terrible.”

IVC was able to hold PC to zero goals in the first half, but the Chargers 

struck back in the second to score all their goals.

“First half, they had a lot of opportunities, but we continued to shut them down and stuck to the game plan,” Wilson said.

“It was 0-0 at half and I really think the kids wanted to have it.”

Sophomore goalkeeper Michael Fenelon was the IVC go-to man of the game with 20 saves.

“He had a lot of big saves in the first half and a lot of big ones in the second, too. Obviously, when footing’s an issue, anything to the side of the goalkeeper is scary,” Wilson said.

Despite IVC’s defense first-half efforts, PC was able to get its first goal in just three minutes into the second.

“That second half, they got the first goal and we continued to go with the game plan, then they got the second one and after that we started to push numbers forward,” Wilson said. “Of course when you do that, you open yourself up to the counter attacks.”

After PC’s second goal, IVC junior Alex Bradley slipped by a few Charger defenders for a shot, but connected high and right of the posts.

Down 4-0 and with 10 minutes left, senior Kyle Wendland was able to drive down and set together an assist to sophomore Mitchell George, but a wide pass halted IVC’s last offensive attack.

The Grey Ghosts were outshot, 26-4, to the Chargers.

“I think a lot of it is that we try to work the ball centrally, when everything is open wide,” Wilson said.

“I think they had a game plan to shut down the middle and they executed it well.”