The Pekin girls soccer team has had its problems with Metamora.
That wasn’t the case Tuesday.
The Dragons beat host Metamora 1-0, defeating the Redbirds for only the second time and the first time since 2010.
The win erased some of the stings of defeat from previous seasons and gave the Dragons (10-7, 4-2) a great shot at finishing in third place in the eight-team Mid-Illini Conference this year behind pace-setters Dunlap and Morton.
“We control our own destiny when it comes to finishing third,” said Pekin coach Edgar Sandoval.
If the Dragons can beat Limestone (7-9-1,1-5) at home next Tuesday, third place will belong to them.
“That would be a great accomplishment for a team that lost six senior starters from last year,” Sandoval said.
Pekin’s lone goal against Metamora (4-7-1, 2-4) came at 63:07 by Tyranie Cox off a corner kick by Alex Bassen.
“Alex sent the ball to the far post. It got through to Tyranie, she gave it a touch and finished,” Sandoval said.
Pekin goalie Paige Smith made three saves in posting the shutout.
Metamora had the wind at its back in the first half, which played into its offensive style.
“They’re very direct. We had to survive the first half. That was our goal,” Sandoval said. “Going into halftime with a scoreless tie was a win for us.”
Sandoval moved Allie Scally to a deep sweeper position to help turn back Metamora in the first half.
“We defended well the entire game,” Sandoval said.
Pekin played without Maddy Cash, one of the Dragons’ top offensive threats. She hadn’t been cleared from concussion protocol after being hurt last week at the Tournament of Champions in Burlington, Iowa.
“We hope to have Maddy back Friday, when we play (Peoria) Richwoods,” Sandoval said.
KICKING OUT CANCER: If you’re looking for something to do this Friday night, you could do a lot worse than checking out the annual Kicking Out Cancer girls soccer event.
The showcase, now in its ninth year, features six area teams competing in three matches spread out over a night of competition and charity at Shea Stadium.
East Peoria and Limestone will kick things off at 4:30, followed by Metamora vs. Peoria Christian and capped off by a match under the lights between event originators Pekin and Richwoods.
PERFECT WEEKEND: The Peoria Notre Dame girls soccer team didn’t allow any goals during last weekend’s Tournament of Champions in Burlington, Iowa.
The Irish defeated a trio of strong teams to win the Adidas Bracket, with a 1-0 victory over Columbia in the final securing the top spot. That bracket included Lemont, a fourth-place finisher in last year’s 2A state tournament, and Quincy Notre Dame, the reigning Class 1A state champion.
“Our girls showed a lot of toughness and grit playing three competitive games in two days and not giving up a goal,” ND coach Ben Ralph said. “Our defense, and goalie Leah Anderson are playing with a lot of confidence. All three games could have gone either way, but we found ways to win.”
Winners of six in a row, the Irish are hoping to ride their TOC success into the Class 2A postseason, which for them begins on May 15 against Galesburg in the quarterfinals of the Orion Regional.
Steve Stein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve. Peoria Journal Star contributed to this report.