STREATOR - The La Salle-Peru boys soccer team wrapped up its first season at the varsity level in strong fashion Tuesday night in Streator.
The Cavaliers went up against the No. 1-seeded Streator Bulldogs in the Class 2A Streator Regional semifinals and came up short 3-0, ending L-P's inaugural campaign on the soccer field.
"We gave it our all out there," La Salle-Peru head coach Eric Bjerkaas said. "We played hard for 80 minutes, and we just came up a little short."
The Cavs (0-13) kept Streator off the scoreboard until the 16-minute mark of the first half.
Junior Bulldog Zach McStoots redirected a free kick into the net past junior L-P goalkeeper Jose Luaisa to put Streator up 1-0.
At the 6-minute mark in the opening half, the Bulldogs had a breakaway and Luaisa came up big and then saved the rebound shot as well to keep the Streator lead at just one goal.
Luaisa wasn't the only one putting his body in front of shots. Sophomore Josh Noel blocked a pass attempt with the side of his face.
The ref motioned to him to see if he needed a timeout, but the strong sophomore said he was all right and play resumed.
The halftime horn blew and the Bulldogs ended the first half with a 1-0 lead. The Cavs only could muster two shots on goal and Luaisa came up huge, stopping 10 of the 11 shots that came his way.
Streator struck early in the second half, scoring with less than 6 minutes off the clock.
The Bulldogs inbounded the ball with a heaving pass that made it all the way to the goal, and the Cavs couldn't get the ball out of the goalie box and junior Rafael Mascote put in the score for a 2-0 Bulldog advantage.
At the 8:48-mark of the second half, Streator junior Mike Walker added a third goal to break the game wide open with a 3-0 lead.
The last minutes ran out and the L-P Cavalierss ended their season winless, but with hope for next year. All in all, Luaisa faced 20 shots and saved 17 of them.
"He definitely kept us in the match, and I can't say enough about the job he does in the goal for us," said Bjerkaas about Luisa.
Jeff Holman can be reached at 223-3200, ext 139, or at email@example.com.