STREATOR – Most areas of play haven't proven to be one bit of a concern so far this season for the Streator High School soccer team, including its ability to score goals while also defending its own net.
Entering Tuesday afternoon's Illinois Central Eight Conference matchup with Reed-Custer, through eight contests the Bulldogs have poured in 40 goals while allowing a scant six markers, including five shutouts in a row.
Though that streak of blankings came to an end, Streator’s proficiency at hitting the back of the net did not end, in any way, shape or form.
The Bulldogs fired off a whopping 42 shots, 26 of them on goal with eight crossing the scoring stripes, as they snuffed out the Comets with a one-sided 8-1 victory here at the SHS Athletic Fields.
In capturing its sixth consecutive triumph, Streator (8-1, 2-0) saw five players score goals but with a whole bunch of others contributing.
First and foremost of those was senior forward Tommy Kress, who tallied three times while also adding two assists. Kress leads the team with a very healthy 15 markers this season. Senior Jacob Russow followed with a goal and three assists, while juniors Sawyer Good, Brian Chavez and Alberto Gonzalez all had a goal as did freshman standout Parker Phillis.
"The kids are playing very hard so far through the first third of the season and that's what we're looking to build on as we move on toward the midway point," said SHS coach Jim Muntz. "We came out hard like we've done most of the year and today that helped us control the midfield and a lot of the offensive pressure early on in the contest. Tommy led us again in this game with his goal scoring and the other kids are feeding off his performances. He's a true presence on the field so that lets other like Russow, (Mason) Telford, Good, and (Jack) Starkey get open for opportunities … It was another very satisfying win for us in all areas today."
The Comets (0-6, 0-2) did manage to end Streator's streak of games without allowing a goal. But they couldn't contend with the Bulldogs high flying offensive attack.
"This is probably the youngest team I've had in my 14 years at Reed-Custer but today they never stopped playing against a great team and coach like Streator and Jim," said RCHS coach Andy Gleixner. "We hung in there after they scored three really quick and managed to get one on them too in the second half, Overall, however, their offense was way too much for us to handle in the end."
Kress started the Streator onslaught quickly when at 36:55 he scored his first goal on a deftly placed header past R-C freshman goalkeeper Stephen Condreay (18 saves) off a well-placed corner kick from Russow.
Good then tallied in close shortly thereafter at 33:32 off a Russow throw-in and a deflect by Kress to make the score 2-0. A few minutes later, the Bulldogs went up 3-0 at 30:03 after Good's corner kick was tapped in at the left post by Chavez.
Russow added another after a rebound off a Dankow and Chavez give-and-go at 10:46 that put the locals up 4-0 entering halftime.
Kress started the second half with the prettiest goal of the game. After a nice feed by Greg Rashid, Kress bent in his second tally from 20 yards out into the top right corner of the net to put Streator ahead 5-0.
"I think their keeper was a little caught off guard by the shot but I had open space and I knew it was going in," Kress said. "From there, we just kept the foot on the peddle."
Kress registered the hat trick at 30:26 after a right side tap in from Russow and Davey Rashid, which was followed by Telford's top right tally from Kress and Tristin Paul at 29:11 to make it 7-0.
The Comets did score at 12:29 after a goal by Braxton Brassard and an assist from Hunter O'Connor. However, Phillis ended the Bulldogs scoring with a nice tally high left into the net after fine assists from Brian Huichapa and Gonzalez, sealing the blowout victory.