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Sports

Morris soccer team claims third straight regional title

It was a cold and windy day Saturday. Not easy conditions to play a soccer match, but for the Redskins it turned out to be an ideal day to win their third straight regional title.

Getting two goals from senior Chava Villanueva and one from Ricardo Del Toro, Morris did just that after dispatching Streator 3-1 in the Morris Class 2A Regional championship.

“This means a lot,” Morris coach David Valdivia said. “They were a confident bunch, but they also knew that Streator was a team that could come back at any time. It was windy and cold and that makes it difficult to play sometimes. It was nice to see we came through it.”

Despite the conditions, the Morris crowd showed up in mass to root on the Redskins.

“It was good to see the big crowd coming out,” Villanueva said. “That help us out a lot. When the fans show up in big games like this, it gives us added motivation.”

“It’s a good experience,” Morris winning keeper Brian Vasquez said. “It was good to see the big turnout. Especially playing for the regional championship, that means a lot.”

Villanueva said the Redskins were confident going into the regional championship against the Bulldogs (11-10-1).

“We knew that we were the better team,” Villanueva said. “We wanted to come out strong and to let them know that this is our house and we played that way.”

It was Del Toro that got the scoring going for the Redskins. He scored in the eighth minute off of a rebound. Five minutes later, Villanueva scored his first goal with an assist from Nick Borgstrom.

That was the score at halftime.

Still, Valdivia thought his Redskins could have had an even bigger lead at that time.

“We had trouble keeping the ball on the ground today,” he said. “But sometimes in weather like this, that can be difficult.”

Villanueva got his second goal of the match with 17:39 left in the game, but Streator then broke up the shutout in the 75th minute when Marco Romero scored.

Up next for the Redskins (14-4-5) is defending Class 2A state champion Peoria Notre Dame at the Morton Sectional today at 5 p.m.

“We think it’s going to be a good game,” Del Toro said. “We think it’s a game we can win.”

“It’s definitely going to be a challenge,” Vasquez said. “But we think we can take them if we play like we are capable of.”

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