STREATOR — In Europe, the game of soccer is called football. Judging by the weather for Streator’s nonconference girls soccer match against Mendota on Thursday here at the Streator YMCA, the players should have been playing in helmets and shoulder pads instead of t-shirt and shorts.
Temperature at kickoff was 51 degrees and with the wind made it much colder and that saw players and fans wrapped up head-to-toe in what they can find to keep warm, blankets included.
The Lady Bulldogs offense, however, was warm from the start getting two goals in each half and coming away with a 4-0 win.
“We started out slow,” said SHS coach J.T. Huey. “We started out really slow and I don’t think the score represents how we played. I think psychologically we were down one of our captains and leading scorer (Ashley McCurdy) and I think that threw us off.”
Even though Streator was down one of their main scorers, Huey was happy with the players that stepped up in McCurdy’s place.
“As a freshman, Sydney Donahue stepped into her role and did a great job,” Huey said. “Every sub did a great job and every single sub I put in did an outstanding job and out-performed some of our starters. Yamina (DeLeon), Brooke (Melvin) and Natalie (Gray) all out-performed. They did an awesome job."
SHS (3-0-1) got on the board as a couple of sophomores got the home team on the board. In the 8th minute, a pass from center-midfielder Hannah Schmitz found forward Shannon Paton, and she struck a shot beyond the out-stretched arm of Lady Trojans keeper Mia Preciado and the Lady Bulldogs were up 1-0 on MHS (2-2-1).
Later in the half, freshman Sydney Donahue increased the Streator lead to 2-0 as she tapped in a goal off of passes from seniors Brooke Melvin and Millie Dean in the 39th minute.
Donahue had a chance to get a second goal in the 50th minute as she was sent on a run that gave her a 1-on-1 attempt against Precido, but the Mendota keeper was up to the task and made the save.
Even though Precido saw a lot of shots during the match, Mendota coach Jason Artman was happy with her effort.
“She kept herself in a good position and gave herself a chance to make some saves.” Artman said. “Our defense did a great job and making sure a shot was a shot. The defense helps her out if the can get the shot out wider than the shooter wants to be.”
Paton struck for her second goal of the match in the second half as she was able to hook up with passes from Schmitz and junior Alyssa Eutsey and bury a shot to put the Lady Bulldogs ahead 3-0 in the 72nd minute. Dean got into the scoring act four minutes later as she tipped in a goal, with Paton and junior Taylor Hoskins credited with the assists.
Streator’s four goals came on 22 shots, while SHS keeper senior Emma Harris saved all four Lady Trojan shots she faced to record the clean sheet.
“This game went to my defense,” Huey said. “Sam (Goerne), Anna (Nelson) and Devin (Lee) kept Mendota out of our half the whole game. They maybe had three or four good pushes.”