ND coach Mike Bare said team won't be satisfied with anything less than a state championship.
Late in the game against Morton Thursday night, Peoria Notre Dame senior defender Matt Barkley blasted a shot from about 20 yards out that almost sailed into the corner of the net.
The goal would have been nice, but Barkley was more happy with the shutout after the Irish beat Morton, 5-0.
“We want a shutout every game, no exceptions,” said Barkley, one of the senior leaders on the Notre Dame back line. “We don’t score many goals ourselves, but that’s OK. If the team gets a shutout, we’re happy.”
Notre Dame shutout Richwoods, 7-0, just two days before the Morton game. On Monday, the Irish beat Peoria Central, 8-0, in the first round of the Metamora Regional. It was Notre Dame’s 11th shutout of the season.
Notre Dame coach Mike Bare said his defenders are playing with pride and confidence heading into the postseason.
“They expect to get a shutout. If they give up a goal, they are very disappointed,” Bare said. The back line, which also includes Dominc Bonello, Ben Ralph, Kris Buckley, Alex Crowley, and Cody Gilfillan, held Morton to just four shots on goal. They also created scoring chances for the offense.
“We try to push the ball to our midfielders,” Barkley said. “We play through the back area, instead of just kicking the ball out of the zone.”
Barkley said the Irish, who will play for a Regional title Friday night, have a “chip on their shoulder” after the way last season ended (a 1-0 home loss to Champaign Centennial in the Super-Sectional).
“A win like this (against Morton) is nice, but we’re not satisfied. Nobody on this team will be satisfied with anything less than a state championship,” Bare said. “We’ve defeated some very good teams, but we still need to get better. We need to be playing our absolute best throughout the postseason.”
Michael Schrader, who leads the team with 18 goals, scored three goals against Morton.
Eagles, Knights win
Dave Benavidez scored the only goal as Richwoods beat Limestone, 1-0, in the first round of the Richwoods Regional. Richwoods will play for the Regional title at 4 p.m. Friday.
Jacob Abou-Hanna scored four goals to lead Dunlap to a 6-1 win over East Peoria in the first roud of the Streator Regional. Tyler Eathington had three assists. Dunlap will play for the Regional title at 11 a.m. Saturday.