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Girls soccer: CP hans KV first loss in 1-0 classic

Updated: October 1, 2013 12:47AM



CROWN POINT — Talk about a showdown.

This game was definitely one for the ages.

Thursday night’s Crown Point-Kankakee Valley girls soccer game turned out to be an instant classic.

The Bulldogs and Kougars battled for more than 79 minutes without scoring before Crown Point senior forward Kara Ford and freshman Delaney Benich combined for the game’s only goal and an incredible finish.

“That game can’t end on a fluke goal — it has to end on a great goal,’’ CP coach Chris Mikrut said. “That’s the way it should end.’’

Ford found Benich with a crossing pass and the forward booted the ball past KV goalie MacKenzie DeMars with 31 seconds left, giving CP (9-3-1) a 1-0 win over previously unbeaten KV (12-1).

“It’s pretty cool,’’ Benich said. “I knew if we kept putting those balls across the goal and kept attacking, we’d put one in. I was really excited when that ball came across and I was where I was supposed to be and was rewarded for it.

“I saw Kara get the ball. I knew she would make a strong kick. I saw Mal (Malorie Henderlong) running to the center, so I knew I had to make the run on the outside. The second it went over Mal, I knew I was supposed to take a step in and finish it, and I did. It’s pretty awesome. We all played 80 minutes. Everyone played an amazing game.’’

Ford made an amazing play to set the stage for Benich’s game-winning heroics.

“I just knew it was the last minute and it was the last chance we were going to get,’’ Ford said. “I knew I had to get it there to the far post. I knew she (Benich) should be there and she was. I just knew I had to make a play. It felt great. You can’t even describe it. It feels unbelievable. It’s definitely a senior moment I’ll always remember.’’

Kougars’ coach Alex Conklin indicated his players were bitterly disappointed about losing the chance for a perfect season.

“I wish that (goal) wouldn’t have gone in, but these things happen,’’ he said. “This is soccer. We had plenty of opportunities, and they had plenty of opportunities. They just got one and we didn’t. I can’t be prouder of my crew than I am tonight. I told them before the game, ‘Let’s get some people to pay attention a little bit.’ I think everybody’s taking a little (more) notice.’’

The Kougars dominated action in the early stages of the second half and had a number of scoring chances.

Natalie Lotz missed on a shot that rocketed over the crossbar, while Haleigh Wenglarz was wide on a breakaway, and on another laser shot CP goalie Meghan Morasan dove to save.

Sophomore Jessica Young didn’t play for KV due to a death in the family.



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