Geneseo’s first-half goal was a little like the Maple Leafs’ soccer season. It seemed like nobody really saw it coming until it surprised everyone.
Geneseo’s first-half goal was a little like the Maple Leafs’ soccer season.
It seemed like nobody really saw it coming until it surprised everyone.
However, Dunlap scored a pair of quick second-half goals to capture the Class 2A LaSalle-Peru Regional championship game on Oct. 19.
With just under two minutes remaining in the first half, Kaleb Decker fired a shot from just beyond midfield to give Geneseo a 1-0 halftime lead.
“Kaleb has a good strike,” Geneseo Coach Harvey Morton said. “We work on some of that stuff from outside in space. It was a good hit by him to put something on frame and looking backside and able to stick it in. It was great to end the half on it, but we didn’t come out as aggressive as they did.”
In the second half, it didn’t take Dunlap long to respond.
Just four minutes into the second half Geneseo trailed.
The Eagles’ Hudson Hazlewood found the back of the net off of a Dunlap corner kick, and Nick Cenek scored on a perfectly timed header on a pass from Hazlewood.
“We had our chances,” Morton said. “We had our chances in the first and second half, but you get to this level and two good teams going at it and somebody has to win.”
Geneseo applied plenty of pressure after falling behind.
Dunlap had two keepers have to leave the game with injuries in the second half.
Geneseo had a corner kick in the 65th minute not find feet on a good chance late in the game, and a few minutes later Geneseo was on the offensive again.
A shot ping-ponged around in the box with seemingly every player having a chance at it just in front of the net, but Geneseo was called for a handball before they could settle the ball for a shot.
Geneseo’s Zach Bauer had another masterful performance with 11 saves in the game.
After early struggles, the Maple Leafs regional semifinal victory stands as a measuring stick for how much the team has grown.
“That’s what we are looking for is the program improving,” Morton said. “They did. They played well and they played hard. We had great junior and senior leadership and they left it all out here, and I’m proud of them.”