MORRIS – The Morris girls soccer team watched a motivational video before Wednesday’s Class 2A Morris Regional semifinal against Kankakee. Whatever that video was should be required viewing for any team about to start the postseason after the Redskins delivered a dominating 11-0 win over Kankakee.
“All we knew about Kankakee was that their record wasn’t real good,” Morris coach Kristen Porter said. “But you never know. This is a regional. We weren’t going to take anyone lightly, so we watched a women’s soccer motivational video.
“We were very motivated tonight, and we approached the game that way.”
It didn’t take long for the results.
Morris (7-7-1) hardly let Kankakee catch its breath, as Alexa Rain scored the game’s first goal just 28 seconds in. Soon after, the Redkins’ Emily Burling had a goal waved off because of an offsides call, but Morris just kept coming. With 37:11 to go in the first half, senior quad-captain Kirsten Galloway scored the first of her three goals to make it 2-0. Five minutes later, Burling got one that counted, taking the ball up the left side before finding the back of the net. With less than 10 minutes of the game played, Galloway scored again to increase the lead to 4-0, with 30:16 still to play in the first half.
“We have prepared hard and worked hard in practice for this regional, and we brought that hard work to the game,” Porter said. “That was real nice to see.”
The goals kept coming for Morris, which takes on the winner of Wednesday’s late game between Yorkville and Ottawa in Saturday’s 1 p.m. regional title game. With 27:24 to play in the first half, Amanda Grant scored, then Brooklyn Enger scored twice in a row, at 18:11 and 11:22 of the first half. Morris closed the half with two more goals, one at 5:42 by senior quad-captain Katherine Gallick and one by senior quad-captian Cara Cummings with 3:36 to play.
Both teams agreed to a 20-minute second half, and the Redskins did all they could to play keep-away. But, they couldn’t help themselves from scoring, as Galloway got her hat trick and senior Ciara Gallo scored her first goal of the season to cap the scoring.
“It was real nice to see Ciara score,” Porter said. “We were trying to get all our seniors to score. One of the good things from a game like this is that everyone got a lot of minutes and got some regional experience. That may come in handy down the road. It’s hard to tell the girls to not try and score when they get out there, but they understood what we were doing. I thought Dorissa Gutierrez did a good job working the ball up the right side, and Bryn Taylor almost got a header for a goal. Now, we are going to practice and prepare for Saturday.”
If the opponent turns out to be Yorkville, the Redskins have split a pair of games with the Foxes, winning the most recent one, 4-1.
“We have gotten better,” Porter said. “The big thing is that we have gotten healthier. At the start of the season, we had a lot of sickness and injuries. Now, as the season winds down, most teams are fighting nagging injuries. We are getting healthier. Plus, we love playing on our home field. We had a good crowd come out with the students and parents. Hopefully, we will have that Saturday, too.”