Coming off a scoreless tie at Freeport on Saturday, Moline knew it wanted to do two things Tuesday night at the Moline Soccer Bowl — score and win.
The Maroons accomplished both in a workman-like 5-0 shutout of Alleman in the Western Big Six opener for both teams.
Leading the way was junior Kyree Morney, a midfielder who doubled his career output with two goals, one in each half.
“My team moved the ball pretty well,” said Morney, whose only goal last season came against Rock Island. “They found me when I was open, and I took my openings and I took the balls and I shot them.
“We didn’t play our best against Freeport,” Morney admitted. “But we came back and had a good outing tonight and we performed pretty well.”
Moline is now 3-2-2 overall, 1-0 in the Big Six. Alleman lost its first game of the season, falling to 4-1-2 (0-1).
Moline coach Rick Sanchez said he was proud of his team’s play Tuesday. After having minimal offensive opportunities against Freeport, the team worked on its offense in practice Monday.
“We broke it down,” Sanchez said. “They did a nice job of creating opportunities and obviously being able to finish those chances.”
Also scoring for Moline were Gabe Graham, Manny Raya and Isac Ruiz. Diego Gonzales had two assists.
Morney’s two goals, the first and the last on this night, almost surprised the coach.
“We moved him into that offensive midfield spot,” Sanchez said. “He’s one of the returning players from last year. His play is coming along. He’s elevating and understands his leadership role on the field.”
Morney scored his first goal in the ninth minute of the game. And when Graham added another in the 23rd minute, Moline was well on its way, especially with the Maroons controlling the ball and spending most of the first half in Alleman’s defensive end.
Sanchez was also pleased with his defense.
“You can’t say enough about our back line,” he said. “They are getting better as a group, feeling comfortable. And obviously being able to have another clean sheet is a big plus for us.”
For Alleman coach Carey Sodawasser, the loss did not seem as bad as the score.
"Obviously it’s Western Big Six," he said. “It’s a numbers thing. That’s a good program. It really is. When you have club kids, you have team after team after team after team that are playing with each other all the time; it makes a big difference. You can see it on the field just by their communication.
“I think we are a better team than 5-0. I think we kind of imploded a little bit tonight. We will be OK. We got a plateful with the Big Six with numbers.”