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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Leafs win conference title

  • Geneseo clinched sole possession of the NIB 12 Conference title Oct. 17 with a 3-1 victory over visiting Sterling.
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  • Geneseo clinched sole possession of the NIB 12 Conference title Oct. 17 with a 3-1 victory over visiting Sterling.
    The last time these two teams met this season the game ended in a 3-3 tie.
    “I pretty much put the ownership on the players, and even in the morning in school they were talking about the game,” said head coach Ian Kline. “They were ready all day, and it was fun to watch them play.
    “Sterling has always been strong so we knew it would be a fight to beat them. We knew we had to win one game to be outright champs, and we came out ready to play and played very well.”
    Ryan Ganson put the Leafs on the board early of a shot into the net from an assist from Ethan Radue at the 4 minute and 45 second mark.
    Sterling responded later in the half on a goal by Antonio Diaz on the assist from Jesus Velazquez at 14:45 for a 1-1 tie at the half.
    Ganson punched in the go ahead goal for Geneseo in the second half at 42:00 on the assist from Radue; while James Ballegeer sealed the victory with a goal off the assist from Ganson at 47:21.
    “(The key) was starting and ending with the same intensity and everyone doing their part,” said Kline. “This was a total team effort. Everyone was ready to go and everyone played well.”
    Geneseo took 12 shots on goal and Josh Morton had five saves in net; while Sterling took seven shots on goal and had nine saves.
    “Our defense did a solid job as they always do. They did what they needed to do,” said Kline. “Offensively, the chances we finished on were great chances, and we worked for each of them. We also had some really great chances we didn’t finish, and the goalie made a great save.”
    Geneseo (15-5-2 overall and 9-0-1 in the NIB 12) began regional action Oct. 23, and with a win will play for the regional title at 6 p.m. in Galesburg.
     
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