The Pekin girls soccer team got nearly everything it wanted out of its game Friday against Moline.
All that was missing was a victory.
Visiting Moline won the non-conference battle 2-0 at Coal Miners Park, handing the previously undefeated Lady Dragons (3-1-1) their first loss of the season.
“Don’t get me wrong. I want to win every game. But this was a great result for us because of the progress we showed against a strong team. I’m in a great mood,” said Pekin coach Edgar Sandoval. “There are a lot of good things our young team can take away from this game.”
Moline has had the Lady Dragons’ number in recent years, including a pair of 6-2 wins last season.
But the Maroons (2-3) had only a pair first-goal goals to show for their offensive efforts Friday. They spent much of the game chasing Pekin.
“We lost focus twice and that hurt us,” Sandoval said. “We had possession of the ball most of the time and created scoring chances. Unfortunately, you don’t get points in soccer for possession or scoring chances.”
The Lady Dragons’ best opportunity to score was a penalty kick taken by Natalie Johnson with about 3 1/2 minutes left.
Johnson’s kick sailed over net.
“No big deal. That happens,” Sandoval said.
Pekin switched from a 4-4-2 to a 3-4-3 setup in the final 10 minutes and nearly cashed in when a Moline hand ball set up Johnson’s PK.
Northern Iowa University recruit Jamie Althiser scored on a free kick at 20:09 and Fiona Roehrs punched in her own rebound at 38:17, just before halftime, for Moline’s two goals.
“Althiser was a big difference in the game,” Sandoval said about the 2015 Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association Class 3A All-State selection who had 28 goals and 17 assists last year.
Moline goalie Hanna Snider made six saves against Pekin. Lady Dragons goalie Christy Torrey made eight saves.