The Maple Leafs finished the regular season with a victory over Ottawa and played in the semifinal round of the LaSalle-Peru Regional.

The Maple Leafs finished the regular season with a victory over Ottawa and played in the semifinal round of the LaSalle-Peru Regional.

Geneseo at Ottawa

The Maple Leafs earned a 3-0 shutout against Ottawa on the road in the season finale on Oct. 11.

Geneseo’s Mitchel Benhart scored with an assist from Ethan Holke in the first half.

Gavin Minnaert put Geneseo on the board in the second half with an assist from Griffin Tracey.

Tracey scored to close out the victory, and Zach Bauer earned the shutout in net.

LaSalle-Peru Regional

It seemed twice as nice for the Maple Leafs this time.

No. 7 seeded Geneseo scored a pair of second-half goals to upset No. 3 seeded Galesburg 2-0 at the Class 2A LaSalle-Peru Regional semifinal on Oct. 16.

Geneseo has started the past two seasons with losses to Galesburg in the season opener.

This season, Geneseo struggled falling in the first three games of the season and being outscored 9-1.

However, the Maple Leafs hit their stride as the season wore on and finished the Northern Illinois Big 12 West season 6-1-1.

“Our defense has been key, “ Tracey said. “Our offense really struggled to start, but we just go into practice working hard and it has paid off. We are finishing goals every game, and at the start of the year we were barely getting any shots.”

After a scoreless first half, a foul just in front of the box set up the Maple Leafs’ Tracey for a direct kick.

Tracey’s shot rebounded off the Galesburg keepers gloves and landed in front of Geneseo’s Kaleb Decker for a score less than 10 minutes into the second half.

“I was on my man and gave a little shimmy, and he lost me for a wide open shot,” Decker said. “Griffin put in a beautiful ball that barely got saved, and I was there to tap it in.”

In the 53rd minute, Tracey drew a foul inside the box and put away the penalty kick for a 2-0 lead.

Geneseo keeper Zach Bauer made a tough save with 10 minutes remaining and a diving save to preserve the shutout with just two minutes left for his sixth save of the game.

“I feel like this field helped us,” Bauer said. “It feels narrow, and it limited them. It gave us an advantage and our team played great. We took our opportunities and scored. We did everything we could to keep us in the ahead.”

Geneseo will play No. 2 seeded Dunlap in the LaSalle-Peru Regional final on Fri., Oct. 19 at 5 p.m.

No. 2 seeded Dunlap defeated No. 10 seeded LaSalle-Peru 4-0 to advance to the regional championship.