Morton returns to girls soccer sectional

Bryan Veginski

It did not take the Morton girls soccer team long to bury East Peoria May 14.

With four goals in the first 19:35, the Potters cruised to a 7-0 win in the Class 2A Metamora Regional semifinals.

“We did a good job of coming out, playing hard and sort of taking care of business,” MHS head coach Derrek Drenckphol said.

Savannah Rhodes had the first two Morton goals, at 5:28 and 12:56. The second was assisted by Ashli Voeller.

Just 38 seconds later, it was 3-0 as Kayla McCormick scored on a Rhodes helper.

The top-seeded Potters were far from finished in the first half as Olivia Stoops netted back-to-back goals on passes from Voeller and Macy Martin, respectively.

Martin then got in the action on a Katrina Beebe feed at 28:53.

The only second-half score was off the foot of Hannah Hoefft at the 47:35 mark.

Morton goalkeeper Olivia Erickson did not face a shot on goal against No. 4-seed East Peoria.

MHS 5, Metamora 0

The Potters delivered a top-notch performance Friday on the Redbirds’ home field.

Morton (11-7-3) celebrated its 10th regional championship in the last 12 years.

“I thought we played maybe one of our best games of the season,” said Drenckpohl.

The coach talked about being emotionally invested and the Potters showed early that they indeed were when Alyssa Reitz took the ball down the field in the opening minute and hit the crossbar on a header.

Martin was a spark for Morton with four consecutive goals.

“Macy Martin obviously had an incredible game,” said Drenckpohl. “She was a catalyst, I think, in a lot of ways for our team.”

Three of the Martin scores came in the first half, starting at 9:54 on a Voeller helper and ending on a Rhodes assist at 25:48.

Midway through the second half, Martin upped the Potter margin to 4-0.

Stoops delivered the knockout blow with a tally at 70:43.

“It was a great team effort,” Drenckpohl said. “We really took away their offensive weapons and really put pressure on their defense the whole game.”

Erickson had to make only one save to register the shutout. Morton, on the other hand, had 17 shots on goal.

Postseason: Morton challenged East Moline Tuesday in the semifinals of the Notre Dame Sectional.

The Potters were trying to avenge a 3-2 loss April 29 to the Lady Panthers.

“I expect to see a very tough game (Tuesday),” Drenckpohl said Monday of two teams he called evenly matched.

The winner advanced to Friday’s title game against either Notre Dame or Dunlap.

The Notre Dame Sectional champion faces the Mascoutah Sectional winner at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Springfield Super-sectional hosted by the University of Illinois-Springfield.