Geneseo's Tori Verbeck battles for the ball with Orion-Sherrard United's Claire McLoone during an Illinois Class 2A regional final Friday at Geneseo High School. Verbeck scored two goals as the Maple Leafs won 4-0.

Regional titles are nothing new for the Geneseo girls soccer program.

The Maple Leafs earned their ninth championship in the last 10 years with a 4-0 win Thursday night at Geneseo High School, but the celebration was still as sweet as ever, especially for Tori Verbeck.

The Geneseo sophomore missed all of last year with a torn ACL, and was forced to watch as the Maple Leafs had a historic season, making it to the Class 2A super-sectionals for the first time in program history.

Verbeck scored the first two goals of the match, more than enough to spur the Maple Leafs to their fourth straight regional title and a date against the hosting Dunlap in a sectional semifinal Tuesday.

"It was hard being on the sidelines, this was really fun," Verbeck said. "It was very emotional for me because I'm very close to the seniors, we have such a good bond. This was our last game on our home field."

Verbeck is one of two girls who missed last season's run with ACL injuries, and being on the field this year there is a drive to try and match what last year's team did, and take the next step to the state tournament.

"It gives us so much motivation," Verbeck said. "We realize how much people take for granted and we don't want to take anything for granted."

The Maple Leafs (17-3) controlled play throughout the match, dominating possession and shots. Orion-Sherrard United freshman Mary Mount made 19 saves in net but it was all for naught as United mustered just four shots on offense.

Lainie Dahl scored in the 45th minute, then Keeli Frerichs capped the scoring in the 47th minute.

The Maple Leafs showcased their depth, routinely subbing throughout the match and that depth is something the team hopes can carry it deep into the postseason.

"We rarely get outworked on the field this year. It's just a good group to coach and they play well together," Geneseo coach Harvey Morton said. "Our bench has been solid all year long and that's what we do. We're trying to play a lot of kids, keep the pressure on and tonight was another example of that."

For United, it's a disappointing end to what has been a historic season. The team won a program-best 20 games this year, matching the mark set by the boys team for best in all of Orion-Sherrard United program history.

But there is plenty of optimism to go along with the disappointment. United (20-5) returns all its starters, including Mount and fellow freshman Lydia Clarke, who scored a program single-season record 46 goals this year.

The sustained level of success that Geneseo has enjoyed this last decade is the next step for United.

"This is a game I think will be good for us in the long run," United coach Rick Cline said. "It's a chance for us to grow and I told the girls we'll be back."

"They know they've just got to do the work, keep growing in the game and I'm excited about what the future holds."

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