Lady Leafs survive in OTs

Amy Boldt
The Lady Leafs raise the IHSA regional plaque in victory after defeating UT, 7-0 on May 16.

The Lady Leaf soccer team had no problem taking care of Alleman and United Township in regional play and then squared off with its toughest test of the playoffs so far in Morton and came away with the win.

Geneseo vs. Morton

The game went down to the wire and even beyond that as Geneseo and Morton battled to stay alive in the Class AA playoffs May 20. After two thrilling halves and five overtimes the Lady Leafs emerged with the 3-2 victory to advance to the sectional championship.

“It was a memorable evening,” said head coach Clark Brookens. “Morton is an excellent team and we knew they would be very good. We played very well, but it is interesting that at this level the slightest openings is where the goals come from. The margin of error is more important.”

Val Piekos put the Lady Leafs on the board first with a goal on the assist from Kaitlyn Ebarb nine minutes into the game. Morton’s Anika Peterson tied the game 1-1 at 40:00.

Camille Repass gave Geneseo the lead again with a free kick at 46:00, but Morton’s Amy Unzicker punched through the penalty kick at 53:00 to tie the contest again, 2-2 to force overtime.

After four overtimes, the Lady Leafs’ Alyssa Patterson knocked through the game-winning goal on the last kick of the shootout. Geneseo won the game on tiebreaking penalty kicks, 4-3.

The Lady Leafs finished the contest with nine shots on goal, while Morton took 22. Danielle?Springer made 14 saves in the net for Geneseo, while Morton’s goalie made six.

“The goal was what we have been doing all season long and this group of ladies is dedicated to playing team soccer,” said Brookens.

Geneseo vs. UTHS

Geneseo captured the IHSA regional championship May 16 with a 7-0 victory over United Township in Geneseo.

Ebarb quickly knocked through the first goal of the game at 5:00 on the assist from Piekos. Geneseo would hold on to a 1-0 lead through the entire first half.

In the second half Geneseo exploded with six goals to seal the win. Piekos scored the first two of the half, the first on the assist from Patterson at 43:00 and the other on the assist from Ebarb at 56:00. Meghan Wethington followed 1:00 later with a goal on the assist from Ebarb at 57:00.

Ebarb scored her second goal of the game at 67:00 from Ambria Bishop, while Jessica Redecker punched through a goal at 77:00 from Katherine Rogers.

Geneseo finished the game with 16 shots on goal and UT ended with 13. Danielle Springer made nine saves in the net for the Lady Leafs.

Geneseo vs. Alleman

The Lady Leafs had no problem with their first test of the postseason as the squad took care of Alleman, 4-0 in the May 14 regional in Geneseo.

Geneseo got things started early with Ebarb punching through the first goal of the game on the assist from Lauren?DeBuysere at 2:00. DeBuysere followed with a goal 3:00 later at the 5:00-mark on the assist from Ebarb. Ebarb scored her second goal of the game, unassisted, at 13:00 to give the Lady Leafs the 3-0 lead at the half.

Piekos knocked through Geneseo’s only goal of the second half on the assist from DeBuysere at 59:00 to seal the victory.

The Lady Leafs finished the game with nine shots on goal, while Alleman took two.  Springer made two saves in the net for Geneseo, while Alleman’s goalie came up with eight.

“We tried to play our game, spread the ball around and we pounced on the openings and got a lot of scoring,” said Brookens. “We were just comfortable with what we were able to do and accomplished what we wanted to do.”

Geneseo (15-3 overall) squared off against Peoria Notre Dame for the sectional championship May 22. For results of that contest, please see next week’s Geneseo Republic.

Kaitlyn Ebarb beats out the Alleman defender as Ebarb scores a goal for Geneseo during IHSA regional play May 14.