Maple Leafs' soccer team curbs Hubs

Chris Steele
Griffin Tracey, left, and Reed Vanderheyden jump to try to deflect the ball 
during Geneseo’s game against Rock Island.

The Geneseo soccer team fell in a hard fought game against Rock Island and added a Northern Illinois Big 12 victory against Rochelle.

Rock Island at Geneseo

The Maple Leafs held their own against the undefeated Rocks for a half, but Rock Island found a way to pull away for a 3-1 victory, at the Geneseo Soccer Pitch, on Sept. 7.

After falling behind early, the Maple Leafs’ Reed Adams scored the tying goal with an assist from Reed Vanderheyden in the 28th minute of the match.

From that point on, it was a Herculean effort from Geneseo keeper Zach Bauer to keep the game tied until half.

Bauer made a pair of masterful stops in the final 10 minutes of the half.

At halftime, the Maple Leafs met Bauer with cheers and high fives as he walked to the sideline.

“He communicates well,” Geneseo Coach Harvey Morton said. “He’s a sophomore who’s been learning every game, and he learned a lot in the (Urbana) tournament last week against some really good competition. He’s learned to communicate with his back line. He moves well and reads the ball well and keeps getting better every game. That’s what we are hoping for with the whole team.”

In the second half, Rock Island took a one-goal lead in the 55th minute of the match with a goal from Anzu Kimba.

With 25 minutes remaining in the match, it appeared the Rocks had expanded their lead to two goals.

However, the goal was waved off after the officials determined that the Rock Island player who redirected the shot was offsides.

With both teams getting chippy and Rock Island holding a one goal lead, Geneseo was unable to find the success they showed in the first half.

“I think it was one of those things where frustration got the better of us,” Morton said. “We stopped executing the game plan we came out with and got out of our roles a little bit and they kept the pressure up.”

Rock Island’s Gloire Luwara found the net in the 66th minute, but Bauer made another pair of brilliant diving defections to keep Geneseo’s comeback hopes alive.

Geneseo at Rochelle

The Maple Leafs rallied for a 4-2 victory against the Hubs in Rochelle, on Sept. 12.

Trailing 2-1 in the second half, Geneseo’s Adams scored his second goal of the game to tie the match in the 51st minute.

The Maple Leafs’ Griffin Tracey gave Geneseo the lead in the 63rd minute, and Tracey added a cushion with a goal in the 67th minute with an assist from Vanderheyden.

Adams opened the game with a Geneseo goal, and Carson Cocquit and Nick Strouss each finished with an assist.