The Moline girls' soccer team wanted to make a statement in Western Big 6 play on Tuesday. It did so in dominating fashion over its conference rival, United Township.
The Maroons romped to a 5-1 win over the Panthers (9-6, 3-1 WB6) at the Panther Pitch in East Moline. The win secures at least a share of the title with Quincy. The Blue Devils host UT on Friday.
Amber Maland started the job for Moline (13-6, 4-0 WB6), scoring in the 7th minute. She finished the job in the 61st with Moline's fifth and final goal.
"This is UT, our biggest rival of the year," Maland said. "It was great to be able to beat them."
The domination over the Panthers came as a surprise to Maland.
"We expected a great game," Maland said. "We came out out and gave it our all. We hoped to dominate them, but we knew we had to give it our all, and that's what we did."
Kelsi Smith scored twice to match Maland, one on a penalty kick in the 30th minute and the other in the 51st. Jamie Athiser also scored for the Maroons, in the 31st minute.
Bri Hughes had two assists as the Moline passing was tremendous. The Maroons were on the same page, hitting each other in stride all night.
"From the first minute to the 80th, they were the dominant team out there," UT coach Phil Weaver said. "They were the more controlled team out there, the team with more ideas or the better technical ability. Mentally and physically, we had players today that weren't at the races, and it showed."
Panthers goalie Laura Burrill had 15 tough saves. Moline's good ball play made for a busy night for the keeper by getting 20 shots on goal.
"In regards to our passing and ball movement, that's probably the best we played all season," Moline coach Rick Sanchez said. "We had been doing a better job of it, but tonight, it was more consistent."
UT's lone goal scorer was Kyleigh McLaughlin on cross pass from Alora Esparza. Moline held a 3-1 lead at the half.
"They dictated everything that was going on out there," Weaversaid. "It was one of those days where no matter what you're saying and no matter what you're trying to get in the head of each unit, they still weren't making smart decisions out there, certainly in terms of open play."
Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.