By Steve Robinson | October 22, 2008 - 4:26 pm
Posted in Category: Pekin Daily Times, Pekin HS

SoccerNORMAL – Coming into the Class 3A Soccer Regional at Normal West High’s Wildcat Field as the number four seed, Pekin Community High School knew facing top seed Moline High would be a battle.

And since Moline forward Kelin Vallejo and PCHS goalie Austin Graves are both sophomores, it’s a battle Dragons head coach Michelle Bodily’s team might be revisiting in future years with her players.

But this time, top seed Moline turned away the fourth seed Dragons, 1-0, on a straight shot goal by Vallejo at the 37:44 mark in the first half. The win increased Moline’s record to11-8-2, and will put them in the Regional championship here Saturday. Moline will face either second seed East Moline United or Regional host and third seeded Normal West.

Pekin DragonsPekin (7-9-3) had mustered 7 shots on goal, 9 corner shots, and was flagged for 11 fouls. Dragons sophomore goalie Austin Graves had five saves in the contest.

The top seeded Maroons fired 9 shots on goal, got in 5 corner shots, and had one offside shot. Moline was flagged for 14 fouls.

Having witnessed officials raise 25 flags in total in the game, Dragons head coach Michelle Bodily said she knew her squad was going up against “a very skilled team. It was a very physical game.”

In the last six minutes of the defensive contest, PCHS shifted players around, bolstering their offense to put pressure on Moline goalie Josh Scott. But the Maroons were able to beat back Pekin’s offensive to claim victory.

“We were close four or five times,” Bodily said of Pekin’s last onslaught against Moline, which featured the Dragons crowding the Maroons’ end of the field to put pressure on Scott.

IHSA“We threw a couple extra people up front (of Moline’s goal), trying to get a shot at the end of the game,” Bodily said in explaining the strategy employed in the last minutes of the game. Unfortunately for PCHS, Moline defenders pushed back, forcing Pekin back into their own territory.

“Our boys gave it everything they had,” Bodily said. “(Scott) just had some great saves in the end.”

“I’m proud of the boys,” Bodily said afterward. “They’re a great team.”

PCHS loses eight seniors after this season, but has six juniors in the wings, ready to play as seniors in 2009. “(What we had this year) are eight very skilled seniors.

“It’s a hard way to end the season, but I am very proud of them,” Bodily concluded.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 at 4:26 pm and is filed under Pekin Daily Times, Pekin HS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply