Morton deters Redbirds
The Normal Community girls soccer team used its prowess on set pieces to defeat Morton April 22.
The Ironmen handed the Potters a 5-1 non-conference loss at Rotary Field.
"They are a tough team," MHS head coach Derrek Drenckpohl said of Normal. "They are physically strong in the air and they really took advantage of that."
Morton had not given up a corner-kick goal all season, but the Ironmen scored three times by that method.
Hannah Bailey got the Potters within 3-1 on a goal at 35:28, assisted by Maddie Tisdale.
Morton goalkeeper Olivia Erickson made 13 saves.
MHS 4, Metamora 1
The Potters moved a step closer to their 12th Mid-Illini Conference championship in a row.
Morton advanced to 5-0 in the league with a crisp performance April 23 at home.
"We probably played the best game we've played all season," said Drenckpohl.
The girls then locked up the league title Tuesday with a 7-0 win at last-place Canton.
Alyssa Reitz put the Potters ahead at 9:26 on an Abbie Cox helper.
About two minutes later, Voeller delivered a beautiful goal.
Reitz's second tally, in the 64th minute, made it 3-0.
"It was great to see our senior captains step up and play a big role in our offense," Drenckpohl said.
Bailey expanded the Morton lead on an assist from Sami Hall.
Erickson made nine saves. The only Redbird score was in the final seconds.
Chatham Glenwood Invitational
The Potters went 0-2-1 over the weekend in a premier tournament.
Morton lost, 5-0, Friday night to the host Titans.
CG graduated only one player from last year's Class 2A state runner-up.
It was only a 1-0 game at halftime until a four-goal Titan second half.
"They were just tough all the way around," Drenckpohl said of CG.
The Potters had a pair of leads against Park Ridge Maine South Saturday morning, but fell, 3-2.
"That was one of those games we felt like we should have got a result," said Drenckpohl of the team playing well enough to deserve at least a tie.
In just 1 minute, 10 seconds, Kayla McCormick gave Morton a 1-0 advantage on a feed from Reitz.
McCormick countered a Hawks score late in the first half with her second goal of the contest at 43:21 on an Erica Vedas pass.
Maine South found the net twice in a span of 5:22 to post a tournament win.
Erickson was credited with six saves.
Morton (6-5-3) closed out the event with a 0-0 draw vs. West Chicago Wheaton Academy.
"We were very pleased with our defensive effort," Drenckpohl said.
The Potters generated some chances, but none got past the Warriors' keeper.
Although Morton departed without a win, it took away a lot of positives.
"I told the girls, 'these tournaments make us better,'" said Drenckpohl.
Season stats: Through Sunday, Morton outscored its 14 foes 36-20.
McCormick is the goals leader with eight.
Macy Martin and Reitz have five goals apiece and Bailey four.
Vedas paces the Potters with four assists.
Cox and Tisdale have recorded three assists each.
Erickson has a 1.47 goals-against average with 4.5 shutouts.
Emma Heisler has not allowed a score in 135 minutes.
Senior Night/Packing the Place Pink: The three members of the Morton senior class — Vedas, Reitz and Voeller — will be honored Tuesday in the home finale when Morton meets East Peoria.
Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. The Potters hope fans of the conference rivals will have the shared goal of raising money for cancer research through a donation to the Illinois CancerCare Foundation.
T-shirts, with a cost of $12 each or two for $20, will be sold.
Also for sale are raffle tickets ($10 each or three for $25) for an iPad with Retina display.
Postseason: Morton is the top seed in the 2A Metamora Regional.
The Potters face fourth-seeded East Peoria at 5 p.m. May 14 in the semifinals.
The winner will face either No. 2 seed Metamora or third-seeded Washington at 7 p.m. May 17 for the regional championship.