The Wildcats lined up in their second and final game of this road trip to Illinois on Saturday at 3 p.m. Central time against St. Ignatius Prep from Chicago. Although the team isn’t as well known as Peoria Notre Dame per se, they were still a solid group of players.
Last year, the Wolfpack made it to the final four of the Illinois state playoffs, losing in a penalty shootout to none other than the team that the Wildcats defeated on Friday, Peoria Notre Dame.
Saturday’s game was not nearly as special as Friday’s contest, but it was still an important game. The Wildcats were extremely tired after Friday night’s 2-0 win, but still felt an urgency to pick up a win vs. the Wolfpack, as well. The Wildcats did just that in a 3-0 victory.
The game started off fast for the Wildcats, as just five minutes in, Matthew McLaughlin lays in a nice through ball to striker Everett Shorey. The senior stayed calm with it, took a few nice touches, and slotted in past the keeper and into the goal. Early on, the Wildcats held a 1-0 lead.
For a while after this, Saint Ignatius Prep really began to play with admirable tactics, jabbing into the Wildcats’ weaknesses. The Wolfpack knew that the Wildcats had just played a grueling match earlier, so they tried to take advantage and begin playing much faster than how they started.
Both teams really battled it out in the midfield as they jockeyed for positioning.
Saint Ignatius Prep really managed to hold the Wildcats out of the sight of goal for quite a while, until with about 13 minutes left in the half, when the Wildcats took a quick free kick. The ball was passed around until Marko Rimac slipped it past the back line right to the feet of Allstate All-American Matthew McLaughlin. The captain kept it under control, and slotted it under the arm of the keeper and into the goal. Just like that, the Cats were up 2-0.
When halftime hit, the score remained 2-0, with the Wildcats in total control.
The second half was a bit uneventful, as both teams were very worn down after the first half.
Later in the game, the Wildcats knocked in their third goal of the evening. Luciano Pechota flicked the ball on from the touchline straight into the center for the awaiting Ryan Roberts, who hits it one touch with force past the keeper.
After this, the Wildcats rode out the game to complete wins in both of their back-to-back games.
With the trip to Illinois in the rearview mirror, the Wildcats will look ahead to their next game October 9 at Wasmer Field against Normandy, a staple team of the Parma area. Wednesday night will be Senior Night for the Wildcats.