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Local

VanOudt leads Morris boys soccer team to War on 34 tourney title

Keeper makes 34 saves in two games

EARLVILLE — Comebacks, overtimes, penalty kicks.

That was the formula for the Morris boys soccer team over the weekend at the War on 34 Tournament, and it worked to the tune of a tourney championship.

The Redskins (3-0-0) defeated Earlville, 3-2, on Saturday to take the title after beating Dixon, 2-1, on Friday night.

​In the first half Saturday, Earlville scored in the final 5:00 to take a 1-0 lead into halftime. Morris rallied in the second half, as junior Conner Shaw assisted senior Josh Lain for a goal on a header with 25:00 left. The Redskins kept pushing and, five minutes later, Connor McGlynn gave a through ball to Shaw, who dribbled through two players and put the ball in the net. Earlville then scored with 14:00 remaining to tie the game. 

Neither team scored again in regulation, or in either of the 10-minute overtime periods, sending the game to penalty kicks.

Earlville shot first, and Morris junior goal keeper Mac VanOudt made a save going the other direction with his foot. Morris' Shaw then made his shot. VanOudt stopped another Earlville attempt before Morris' Skyler Wills made his shot for a 2-0 Morris lead.

Earlville then made a shot and Morris' Christian Vasquez missed, cutting the Redskins lead to 2-1. Another Earlville goal made it 2-2 and Alex Randall made his shot to take it 3-2 in Morris' favor. Earlville's final shot went to the left, and VanOudt moved to his right to block it before the Morris team ran onto the field to celebrate.

VanOudt was named Player of the Game with 20 saves.

"My guys were tired from Friday night's game and came out flat," Morris coach David Valdivia said. "Earlville is a different program, and had some really good players this year. This was a tough win but that's exactly what we needed. In this game Mac VanOudt made one in particular were he hit it over the post with his hand going backwards."

Morris 2, Dixon 1: In the semifinals Friday, Dixon scored in the first 10 minutes to take a 1-0 lead.The Redskins tied it 15 minutes later when Shaw dribbled through five defenders and scored. The first half ended in a 1-1 tie. Both teams had scoring opportunities in the second half, but neither took advantage. After two scoreless 10-minute overtime periods, the game went to penalty kicks.

Dixon shot first and made its goal before Morris senior Matt Samolis' shot was blocked. Dixon made its second shot, and Skyler Wills made his shot for Morris. After Dixon's next shot went over the goal, Christian Vasquez made his shot to tie the shootout at 2-2. Another Dixon shot went over the net and junior Alex Randall made his shot for Morris. Dixon's final attempt to tie it went over the goal and Morris took the win.

"The best part was when the other team missed, the whole team ran jumped on Mac VanOudt, our keeper, who had 14 saves and let only one goal in." Valdivia said. "Dixon was a very competitive team. They played better the second half, and we played better the first half after the first 10 minutes."

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