‘It’s a matter of who can impose their style’ – Morton gets its wish
PEORIA – All the ingredients are in place for a classic girls soccer match tonight when Notre Dame and Morton meet for the Class A Notre Dame Sectional title at 7 p.m.
Both teams had unblemished records in their conference seasons and both have all-staters – Morton’s Caitie Horner and Notre Dame’s Rachel Merriman.
Morton has the JS-area leading scorer in junior Jenni Schoon (28) and Notre Dame as the area’s second leading scorer in Natalie Kahn (24).
And to top it off, there’s a berth in the Elite Eight at stake.
The winner of the Notre Dame sectional plays the Chicago St. Ignatius winner at North Central College in Naperville at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
One difference between ND (21-3-1, 10-0 in the Mid-State 6) and Morton (19-4-2, 12-0-0 in the Mid-Illini) is the Irish have won seven straight sectionals.
“We set out a goal, we want to go to state,” Morton coach Brian Deters said. “We’re one game away and obviously you’ve got to go through Notre Dame. Somebody’s got to knock them off and we’re going to try as best as we can.”
Tonight’s meeting will be the fifth time in the last six years these teams have met in the postseason. ND has won each match by outscoring Morton 15-3.
“This is the only team we’ve wanted to play,” Horner said of the Irish.
The last time a Potter club defeated Notre Dame was in 1997, the same year Katie Streib set the school career record for goals (77) and assists (35).
Schoon tied both records last week.
Notre Dame and Morton last met on April 5, with the Irish taking a 2-1 decision at McClallen Park in Morton.
“They played just as well against Richwoods as they did against us,” ND coach Matt Blackford said, referring to the Potters 4-1 win in the sectional semifinals. “I see that they’re better but tactically they still play the same way.
“We need to concentrate on playing our style. At this point you can’t really make any major adjustments. It’s a matter of who can impose their style of play on the other team.”
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