Playoffs clinched after 2-2 draw against Des Moines

(PEORIA, Ill.) — Peoria City is heading back to the USL League Two Playoffs!

For the second time this season, the Flying Carp earned a point against Des Moines, finishing our home campaign with a 2-2 draw against our first-place rivals.

“Getting a draw from that game, I think we’re all a little disappointed. We all wanted those three points. But to clinch playoffs, we’re confident with our squad,” said goal scorer and Saturday night’s Prairie Home Alliance Man of the Match Luke Persenico.

Persenico says the keys to success against Des Moines were the players’ work ethic and resilience.

“Everyone had each other’s back every single play. Those first and second balls, we challenged, and you can’t complain about that. That’s what showed our passion and why we got the result we did,” Persenico said. “We’re looking for those 3 points against Sueno to get us ready for playoffs, and to prove how strong of a squad we have.”

Persenico knocked in his 9th goal, 2nd against Des Moines this season to push the Carp ahead 2-1 late in the game.

In the 36th minute, fantastic vision by defender Wes Gibson led to a successful through ball by the SIUE Cougar to striker Justin Wilson. Wilson won the header against a Des Moines defender, and bounced the ball off his chest, right to his feet where he was able to turn and find Jose Gomez streaking toward the goal.

The one-time inner foot cross was met perfectly by DJ Koulai, who buried the first goal in the back of the net.

Peoria City were up 1-0 at the half.

Des Moines would tie the match 1-1 in the 69th minute.

In the 82nd minute, a goal scored in the matter of inches by Luke Persenico. Jonas Lyshoj would cross the ball through the box past the Des Moines defender, finding Persenico who crashed the net. Persenico would one-time chip it over the keeper, hitting him right in the hands and going over his head.

The ball would land just over the goal line, giving Peoria City a late 2-1 lead as the crowd erupted.

6 minutes later in the 88th minute, Des Moines was awarded a free kick just outside the Peoria City goalbox. There, they would find the back of the net and give the Menace a 2-2 tie.

And that would do it for Peoria and Des Moines’ scoring Saturday night. An absolute battle between heavy weights under the lights of Shea Stadium.

The point earned Saturday night gets Peoria City to 24 on the season and clinches a playoff spot. With one final match this season, Peoria City take on Sueno FC in Joliet, Illinois on Saturday, July 13th at Joliet Memorial Stadium. The Carp enter the final regular season game in Joliet with a 7-1-3 record.


“Peoria will play home to future stars of American soccer.”
- Jim DeRose, Bradley University Head Soccer Coach

This is your team.

Join the club and help make the 2022 opening season a success. You’ll find out first about exciting announcements, team and merch info, and very special Peoria City events.