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Daily Journal
     April 14, 2022      #74-104 KDJ

Two second-half goals push Mac past Manteno 

Matt Russell
Special to the Daily Journal

MANTENO — A pair of second-half goals pushed the Bishop McNamara girls soccer team past Manteno for a 2-0 road win Tuesday.

With the win, the Irish improved to 2-5 overall on the season, and Manteno fell to 1-5 with the loss.

Both squads battled the wind to a draw after the first 40 minutes of play before Irish freshman Emily Storer scored an unassisted goal less than two minutes into the second half to break the tie.

“I thought both teams came out hard and the wind played a big factor,” said Manteno coach Amanda Zea. “I actually thought we played better in the second half, but the ball just didn’t bounce our way.”

Twenty minutes later, sophomore Lillee Nugent scored unassisted and gave the Irish a 2-0 cushion to seal the win.

The Irish have found themselves ahead or tied in all of their games this season but have found some second-half struggles early in the year. On Tuesday, it was the opposite.

“It was nice to see those improvements in this game and pull one out in the second half,” Irish coach Chuck Goranson said. “We also got Lillee Nugent back from injury today, and I thought she gave us a big pick-up.

“But overall, our performance in the second half was the key tonight.”

Goranson said he was impressed by the way his team has stepped up and adjusted to varsity soccer despite the youth wave.

“We have a lot of inexperience; we started seven or eight freshmen tonight. They are getting better each game, and it has given us some momentum,” Goranson said. “They are starting to understand the expectations we have for them.”

“Our kids have a bright future if they continue to work as hard as they are working right now.”

For Manteno, Zea remained optimistic after the loss, noting her young team is improving game by game.

“From tryouts to now, week-to-week, I’m seeing a lot of improvements — even in games, from half-to-half,” Zea said. “It just keeps getting better, and we keep moving forward. I’m proud of how far they’ve come so far.”

“It’s more than just about winning and results on the score sheet,” Zea said. “I appreciate the effort the kids have put in.”


Bishop McNamara returns to action at Aurora Central Catholic at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Manteno will play in Streator at the same date and time.

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