Geneseo Boys' Soccer beats Quincy, remains undefeated

Claudia Loucks
Mitch Wirth is also part of the defense on the Geneseo boys’ soccer defense.
Charlie Rice is part of the Geneseo soccer defense that allowed only 2 shots on goal in the match between the Leafs and Quincy. The Leafs defense and goalies have had 7 straight games with no goals scored against them and only four goals have been scored on the team in this season.

With the win against Quincy on April 8, the Geneseo Maple Leafs boys’ soccer team remains unbeaten and grabbed a share of the Western Big 6 conference title. The Leafs shut out the Quincy Blue Devils 3-0.

The Geneseo Boys’ Soccer Team is ranked 2nd in Illinois 2A and 6th in the entire State of Illinois, out of all classes.

The final game of the season will be April 14 when Geneseo travels to Rock Island and if they win that match, the Leafs will win the conference title outright.

The battle between Geneseo and Quincy was held in rain in Geneseo,

Geneseo jumped out on top when senior Ethan Holke took a cross from senior Hayden Cucuru in the box, made a touch and fired a shot past Quincy tender Frank Heck in the 9th minute. Just 6 minutes later, the Western Big 6 goal scoring leader Hunter Holke redirected another cross from Cucuru into the back of the net, giving the Maple Leafs a 2-0 led going into the half. Geneseo’s stingy defense was on display again, frustrating the high-powered Quincy offense.

The second half those frustrations began to boil over, with Quincy picking up two yellow cards and Geneseo one yellow card. In the 66th minute, Ethan Holke took a free kick from Charlie Rice and fired in the Leafs 3rd and final goal giving Geneseo the win and at least a share of the Western Big 6 title.

The Geneseo defense line took over the game and allowed only one shot on goal in the second half, and a total of 3 for the game.

Geneseo controlled the midfield, with seniors Nate Holke, Ethan Holke, and sophomore Matt Daly winning the majority of the balls in the air. The defensive line of Charlie and Carson Rice, Mason Smith and Mitch Wirth continued to quickly snuff out attacks from Quincy.

In this shortened season, Geneseo’s defense and goaltending, has allowed only four goals against them. The Leafs have shut out their opponents in 7 of 9 games.

Ethan Holke called the match against Quincy “another great team win. It does not matter to any of us who scores the goals. The guys that score always get all the attention, but the guys that should be getting the attention is our defense. Our defensive mid, Nate (Holke) and our defensive line, Mason (Smith), Mitch (Wirth), Carson (Rice) and Charlie (Rice), along with the goalies Zach Nelson and Gage Tafoya deserve the credit.”

Hunter Holke, (cousin to Ethan Holke) who is the leading scorer, said, “Our defensive is playing amazing. We have not been scored on for 7 games, and only 4 goals scored against us all season. We have to face them (defense) in practice all the time and it is really tough to score on those guys.”

“We forwards and midfielders know what the other teams feel going against them (our defense) and know why other teams get so frustrated going up against them. Those guys are playing awesome,” he said.

Co-Captain Nate Holke said, “It’s a really fun season. We have so many guys that can step up and play multiple positions.”

He added, “We lost a lot of our starters from last year and with a shortened season we knew we had to come together quickly as a team. It is showing the field. Our JV team is having a great year too. They are 7-0-2. Practicing against each other every day makes both teams better. We have a really strong sophomore class, not just with Connor, but also with Ernst Daly, Slaymaker and Kreiner and many others.”

Co-Captain Thomas Robinson commented, “It was definitely a team effort. Our defense played outstanding as usual, and we did a great job winning the ball in the midfield and pushing through the forwards.”

GENESEO 3, STERLING 0, AT GENESEO

The Geneseo Boys’ Soccer Team celebrated Senior Night at the game against Sterling which Geneseo won 3-0.

Senior Ethan Holke scored with a drive up the middle uncontested and fired a shot past the Sterling goal keeper.

The Leafs second goal came off the foot of Hayden Cucuru, assisted by Ethan Holke late in the first half. Geneseo tacked on a third goal from a shot from junior Hunter Holke, blasting a ball into the side net, assisted by his brother senior Nate Holke.

Geneseo’s defense continues to be stingy, not allowing a goal in 6 of their 8 games this season.

The Leafs remain undefeated on the year at 8-0 overall and 5-0 atop the Western Big 6 conference.

The GHS senior soccer players are Hayden Cucuru, Nate Holke, Ethan Holke, Logan Fitzpatrick, Mason Smith, Charlie Rice, Carson Rice, Riley Nelson, Mitch Wirth, Thomas Robinson and Sebastian Einfeldt.