Orion-Sherrard soccer celebrates season

Mindy Carls
bag of soccer balls

Wrapping up a historic season, the Orion-Sherrard boys and girls soccer teams gathered at Orion High School on Tuesday, June 8, to celebrate.

Normally boys soccer is a fall sport and girls soccer is a spring sport, but because of COVID-19 the boys season was postponed until spring. For the first time ever, the boys and girls played on the same day.

Coach Rick Cline said COVID-19 created special challenges, but he was proud of the way his players responded.

“They represented our programs and our schools in the best possible way,” he said.

The United boys compiled a 9-5 record.

Ajay Moon led the team with nine goals. Alyus Johnson scored eight; Jordan Maynard, seven; Cole Kimball, four; Luke Moen and Talen Butler, two each, and Kade Helm, Nathan Schmoll, Josh Spranger, Cody Dutton, Mike Diehl, Caden Wegerer and Trey Erdmann, one apiece.

Assists were credited to Jordan Maynard, six; Moon and Peyton Maynard, four each; Kimball, Johnson and Butler, three apiece; Helm, two, and Schmoll, Diehl, Wegerer and Erdmann, one apiece.

Keeper Dutton recorded nine clean sheets.

They outscored foes 40-25.

Cline noted the boys had a six-game winning streak to close out the regular season before an own goal resulted in a 1-0 loss to Monmouth-Roseville during the final 90 seconds of the regional opener.

The girls finished 7-3-1 in a COVID-shortened season that snapped a run of 20-win years. In 2017, the girls were 20-5; in 2018, they were 21-5, and in 2019, they were 21-5-1. COVID forced the cancellation of the 2020 season.

Miriam Clarke booted home 12 goals; Lily Moen, 11; Rokia Clauss, five; Olivia Thomsen, four; Mariah Meyers, three, and Ashley Schmoll and Jennie Abbott, one.

Clauss had five assists; Meyers, four; Hailey James, Moen, Zoe Larkins and Clarke, two each, and Addison Szymborski, one.

Keeper Jennie Abbott recorded six shutouts.

Orion-Sherrard outscored opponents 37-22.

United pulled off wins against teams that had better athletes up and down the roster, Cline said. For example, Orion-Sherrard thrashed Illinois Valley Central 8-0.

After United had to take two weeks off because of COVID-19 protocols, they had to face Bartonville Limestone in their first game back. Cline had only 10 players to put on the pitch. He called the Limestone coach, who refused to consider playing with only 10, at least until his team was only a few goals ahead.

Cline said the Orion-Sherrard girls were “smart, tenacious and experienced” and they won 1-0.

United’s first regional game was at Geneseo, which had 10 seniors and won 9-0. Orion-Sherrard started the match with 13 girls and finished with 12.

Orion girls winning varsity letters were James, Moen, Larkins, Meyers, Abbott, Clarke, Kaitlyn Greenwood, Thomsen and Schmoll. Freshman numerals were presented to Schmoll.

For boys soccer, varsity letter winners were Spranger, Schmoll, Moen, Kimball, Wegerer, Erdmann, Griffin Marshall and Butler.

Sherrard presented letters to its own students.

Cline did not present special awards.