NORMAL – Falling behind early in soccer is never an easy proposition, but that’s what Morris’ girls soccer team faced Tuesday. The Redskins trailed Mahomet-Seymour, 2-0 at halftime in the Class 2A Normal West Sectional semifinal, and the Bulldogs scored again just five minutes into the second half.
Morris’ Emily Burling scored with 10 minutes left to play, off an assist from Summer Shaw, but it was all the Redskins, who finish with a 9-8-1 record, could muster before falling, 3-1.
“We actually controlled the ball for most of the game,” Morris coach Kristen Porter said. “We just couldn’t get the ball into the net. Their defense did a good job of bunching up our forwards and we didn’t get a lot of shots on goal. The girls worked hard and we put a lot of pressure on, but we just didn’t get the goals.
“Mahomet led, 2-0, at half and scored right away in the second half. That kind of took our morale down a little bit, but we regrouped and said we weren’t going to get shutout and wanted to win the rest of the game. We did that. Emily did a great job getting her goal. She really came through for us. So did Kristen Galloway and Katherine Gallick.”
Morris goalkeeper Maren Bashor made 11 saves, and Porter cited sophomore Emma Dingbaum for her defensive effort. Dingbaum was playing in place of senior Ashley Tapia, who was injured in Saturday’s regional championship win over Yorkville.
“Emma basically had no breaks and she just didn’t give up,” Porter said. “It was a very physical game. There was a lot of pushing and shoving and not a lot of whistles, but our girls played hard til the end. There’s no doubt about that.
“We are happy with the season and winning another regional title, but we are sad to see it end. The good thing is that we are getting closer to these top-notch teams. We are improving. We will have quite a few spots to fill next with after losing some seniors, but the younger players played quite a bit this year, so they do have some experience.