MORRIS – Going into what arguably was the most difficult part of its schedule, the Morris girls soccer team knew it would be challenged. On Thursday night, they finished a strenuous four-game stretch with a home matchup against DeKalb, a traditional powerhouse in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East.
Morris entered the match looking to stop a three-game losing skid, but the Redskins fell, 3-1.
However, it wasn’t all bad for the Redskins (3-4-1).
After losing to DeKalb, 7-1, during conference play in 2013, Morris jumped out to a one-goal lead, when sophomore Brooklyn Enger found the back of the net in the 23rd minute. Junior forward Emily Burling assisted.
“DeKalb is definitely at the pinnacle of our conference,” Morris coach Kristen Porter said after the loss. “We got the first goal, and we were so excited to be beating what may be the best team in the league.”
The elation was short-lived.
Late in the first half, DeKalb striker Morgan Beaty triggered a run and blew by the Morris defense before blasting one home from just inside the box with 2:24 to play. It was the first of two goals on the night for the DeKalb captain.
After the half, Beaty would struck again when she settled down a high cross from the midfield and ripped one past Morris keeper Maren Bashor in the match’s 42nd minute.
Beaty finished off her day with an assist on a corner kick that striker Hannah Hickey was able to put in the back of the net. The goal provided DeKalb with all the insurance it needed, and put Morris on its heels.
One of the biggest bright spots for Morris was the play of Bashor, a sophomore.
Despite giving up three goals, Bashor turned away seven attempts and kept the Redskins in the match despite a 10-2 differential in shots on goal.
“I thought as a team we actually played pretty well,” Bashor said. “We were doing a new formation, and I think in the first half we mostly dominated. It felt like we had possession the entire time.”
And although the second half didn’t go as planned for the Redskins, now that they’ve played through the toughest part of their schedule, they’re looking forward to the rest of the season.
“That’s what we talked about after the game,” Porter said. “We just went through the hardest part. Now next time we go to play everybody, we’ll be healthy, and hopefully, we’ll be a lot better.”