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Morris soccer goes out on top at senior night

Morris senior soccer player Chava Villanueva scored a hat trick Tuesday night. While it is not the first of his career, and may not be the last, it is one of the most significant according to him after the Redskins beat Sycamore by a 6-0 score on senior night.

“Coming into the high school, I think that is a dream,” Villanueva said. “My freshman year I got to see Matt Ringman get a hat trick on senior night and I thought that was pretty cool. I also think it’s pretty cool that, now that I’m a senior, I got the chance to score a hat trick.”

Villanueva and Nestor Rodriguez scored four of the six goals on the day with Ricardo Del Toro and Nick Borgstrom getting the others.

Those weren’t the only seniors stepping up for the Redskins on the night.

“I always believe things happen for a reason,” Morris coach David Valdivia said. “Kyle Monk got hurt last week right in time for Matt Thayer to come back and help out. That just goes to show how seniors step up. They give me a lot of options to use on the field.

“These seniors are special. They are a unique squad because they have been playing since they were little kids for MSA and you can tell. On the field they have their own unique ability to pass the ball and know where they are at. It’s almost like blindly knowing where the other person is going to be.”

Senior Brian Vasquez was the winning keeper.

“It makes it special because Brian has been part of our program and he’s also a senior,” Valdivia said. “And you have Chava who is basically the leader of the team. When he steps up, he carries the weight. But Nestor also carries some weight and won a lot of balls in the middle and [Jose] Salinas did a good job of playing defense and then being able to push up and play midfield, as well.”

Thayer is a senior captain on defense. He said beating the Spartans – a Northern Illinois Big 12 East opponent – makes the senior night win even more special.

“This means everything in the world,” he said. “It seems like just yesterday that we were just freshmen coming in and watching the seniors play on senior night. Now it’s ours and it’s really hard to believe. The win is even more special.”

A night, and a season that this particular senior group will likely remember for a long time.

“This is a special squad,” Valdivia said. “I’m going to really, really miss them.”

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