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Young Morton soccer squad falls in regional semifinal

Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 4:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 4:11 p.m. CDT

ELMHURST – Just as things got going for Morton soccer, the season ended.

The Mustangs entered the playoffs having won seven of their last eight matches in the regular season, but lost at York 4-0 on May 15 in a regional semifinal.

Morton started four sophomores and two freshmen for most of the season and had trouble matching up against top opposition like the Dukes throughout the year. An 0-6 start to the season meant Morton was fighting an uphill battle the whole spring.

“We started out slow,” said coach Jim Bageanis. “We finished the season strong I think. We played a lot of tough teams in a short amount of days.”

Seniors Briana Keska, Iesha Gomez, Nelly Romero, Rachel Kacirek and goalkeeper Lili Martinez helped carry Morton to the stronger finish.

Keska, the ever-present scoring threat for the Mustangs, carried the offense despite being the focus of the opposition every match. Keska’s college future remains up in the air, though she does have offers to continue her career.

Keska and Romero were all-sectional honorees while Gomez was honorable mention.

“Our seniors gave us what they could,” Bageanis said. “We started scoring more goals as the middle of the season went along. Our defense was suspect at times against some better teams, but we started scoring more goals.”

As the season progressed and Morton’s schedule provided more winnable games, the younger girls on the team gained more confidence and the team improved. Bageanis mentioned sophomores Allysa Garcia, Tania Paez and Liz Gonzalez as some of the younger players that stepped up and showed promise for the future.

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