EARLVILLE – Morris junior forward Luke Rodriguez’s first goal of the season didn’t count. While he did finally get an official goal later, it was his last goal of the day that broke the will of Lisle.
Rodriguez recorded for his first multiple-goal game as a varsity player for the Redskins soccer team Thursday, helping them to a 4-1 win over the Lions. It was the first match of the season for Morris and the opener of the Earlville Tournament.
Morris dominated action in the first 40 minutes of play, but four offsides penalties plagued the Redskins, including one on Rodriguez as he appeared to score the fourth varsity goal of his career.
“That first goal I felt I had my teammate all the way down … I thought it was good,” Rodriguez said. “But the referee is the one who has the best view of the play and he’s the one that makes the decisions.”
The first official goal of the season would eventually be pocketed by Rodriguez in the 35th minute with an assist from Nick Borgstrom.
“I held up that time and was onside,” Rodriguez said. “I had one person to beat and went to the low right corner before the goalie could get to it.”
That’s where the lead sat at halftime. Morris’ Ricardo Del Toro would then score an unassisted goal eight minutes into the second half to make it 2-0.
With the sun shining down and the heat at an exasperating level, it looked like the game might be in hand for the Redskins. However, Lisle forward Jon Harmon beat Morris keeper Matt Borgstrom in the 50th minute and the Lions were back in it.
“Lisle did a good job of switching and moving the ball there,” Morris coach David Valdivia said. “I wanted more defense there and told the guys to hang back, but after the goal they let loose.”
Right after Harmon’s goal, Rodriguez scored an unassisted goal a little over a minute later that essentially broke the will of Lisle.
“We know we can’t let that [goal] get us down and we knew we had to pick it up,” Rodriguez said. “We picked up the intensity and got the goal right back.
“Lisle made a bad pass there and my teammates were pushing up. I took it away, went in on the goalie one-on-one and went bottom right.”
Morris capped the scoring in the 64th minute on a goal by Chava Villanueva off an assist from Rodriguez.
Matt Borgstrom made six saves in goal recording his first varsity win.
Morris plays back at the Earlville Tournament at 7 p.m. Friday night.
“[The win] gives up some confidence and boosts the morale of the team,” Rodriguez said.