NEWARK — The date is set, the matchup is on. Geneva and Pal-Mac will meet at Newark High School on Saturday evening to decide the boys soccer 2019 Class B2 Section V Championship.
Pal-Mac Red Raiders (16-2) will be playing for their third Section V title overall and second in a row. The Geneva Panthers (13-5) look to take their first Section V championship in program history.
Both teams are extremely well coached and the two men in charge have the utmost respect for one another, which makes the matchup all the more intriguing.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Geneva head coach Jeff Dunham said. “Chris and I get along well and Pal-Mac is who we strive to be. To be able to have an opportunity to play them with a chance to win the Sectional title is kind of full circle.”
It is a perfect matchup; each team has a win and loss against one another this season.
In the third game of the season, Geneva was victorious in the first matchup by a score of 4-2, and that was the last loss the Red Raiders have suffered. Since then, Pal-Mac has won 15 in a row including a 2-0 win at Homecoming vs. Geneva.
“The way we see it,” coach Mahnke said, “We want to make sure we’re playing our game, taking care of them. We know we’re going to have to shut down or work against two of their main players, but we’re happy with the way we’ve been playing and my guys have put in the work for this season.”
On paper, the contest could not be more even and looks to be one of the most anticipated matchups of the season.
“Two coaches that extremely respect each other and two squads that are coached very well. It will be hard-nosed but clean soccer,” coach Mahnke said.