Who says a scoreless tie has to be boring?
Not the Pekin and Morton girls soccer teams, which played a dramatic Mid-Illini Conference game with no goals Tuesday on the Dragons’ home pitch at Coal Miners Park.
Pekin goalie Paige Smith made a spectacular diving save on a shot by Morton’s Emerson Newman with less than a minute remaining.
“That shot was going in,” said Dragons coach Edgar Sandoval. “Paige laid out and got it.”
Back came Pekin (2-1-2, 0-1-1) after Smith’s save.
Tyranie Cox blasted a shot at Morton goalie Sierra Rieger, who got a part of it. The ball bounced off the goal post and Reiger picked it up.
“Two huge saves,” Sandoval said. “It was like two heavyweight boxers throwing roundhouse punches, with neither boxer going down.”
Almost lost in the spotlight of the saves was the play of Pekin freshman Gracie Kizer, who kept Morton star and Illinois State University verbal recruit Peyton Dearing from scoring while being assigned to mark her for 60 of the game’s 80 minutes.
“Gracie did a great job keeping herself between Peyton and our goal,” Sandoval said.
Smith ended up with eight saves and Rieger also had eight saves, earning “Woman of the Match” honors from the Pekin team.
“We had four good chances in the box (against Rieger),” Sandoval said. “It was a great result for us. Morton (2-0-2, 1-0-1) tied (Peoria) Notre Dame, which is always one of the top teams in our region.”
Pekin will play Thursday at Galesburg.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.