PEORIA NOTRE DAME J.V. TOURNAMENT
J.V. Soccer finishes the season capturing the PND Tournament Championship
Mahomet went 4-0 Friday and Saturday to win their second straight Peoria Notre Dame JV invitational. The tournament is notable as it is a veritable who is who of mid state top programs. Central was the only other local team to enter the top bracket. For context, all of the varsity teams of the programs in this tournament are currently ranked in the top 20 , with 5/8 teams in the top ten. While these were JV teams, the competition is definitely the best we play all year...back to back to back to back.
The Bulldogs opened Friday night with a strong performance against Morton. They controlled most of the opportunities but were unable to finish. The game ended at 0-0. The Bulldogs continued last years trend of strong play in PK shootouts. They didn’t miss, while their keeper Zach Beyer saved two to give them the win.
In the opener of Saturday, the Bulldogs faced Dunlap. Titus Payne assisted Sam Henrichs twice to give the Bulldogs the lead. Dunlap was able to battle back and sent it to PKs. Clayton Kessler was able to save two, and the Dogs were again able to finish their PKs to win.
In the semifinals, the Bulldogs played Chatham. Chatham put the dogs up early with an own goal. Henrichs again scored for the dogs, assisted by Clayton Gibson. Gibson later sealed the win after Chatham had fought back. He was assisted by Nick Thajadi who played a ball behind the defense. Gibson did wonderful to see the keeper had charged him. He floated it beautifully over the hands of the keeper who had left the goal.
In a rematch of last year’s championship, the Bulldogs faced Peoria Notre Dame. Titus Payne was able to give the dogs a lead in the first half. He was assisted on a nice ball from Clayton Gibson.
PND responded in the second half with a cross that was headed into the back of the net. After a back and forth second half, the score remained locked at 1-1. The teams again went to PKs.
The typical five shots were not enough as the teams were still tied. Clayton Kessler was able to block PND’s 7th shot, and Titus Payne was able to knock the Bulldogs 7th in to give the team the back to back championship.