Warriors drop 2-0 loss to Benet at Benedictine


By Paul La Tour
Photos courtesy of Benet Academy soccer

Meaghan O’Hara and Amanda Kaiser weren’t in the starting lineup for Benet on Monday night against Wheaton Academy.

But the two sophomores still had the biggest impact in the Redwings’ 2-0 victory at Benedictine University in Lisle. They combined to score both goals, and Kaiser added an assist on O’Hara’s goal for Benet (9-2-2).

“When we put Meaghan in she just kind of took over for us offensively,” Benet coach Henry Wind said. “She’s got speed and strength. She’s one of the few kids on the team that’s got that ability. She doesn’t always do it – she’s only a sophomore – but she’s getting better and better at it.

“And Amanda Kaiser got a beautiful goal – probably the best goal of the year for us. She was going in one direction, turned around and left-footed – I want to emphasize left-footed – and hit a pea. That goalie was good and the shot beat her.

“We can play and pass and defend pretty well. It’s just that we need a little bit of a push, and every once in a while Meaghan gives it to us.”

O’Hara did that in the 32nd minute, sparking the Redwings after a slow start that included losing senior midfielder Katie Kaufmann to an ankle injury in the 17th minute.

On the first goal, Kaiser sprung O’Hara free in the midfield with a header through a crowd. O’Hara raced a few yards in the clear before letting the shot go, making it 1-0 at 8:31.
The play appeared to be executed with perfect precision, the kind that only comes from hours of practice, right?

“Oh, no,” O’Hara said, laughing. “I was just at the right place at the right time.”

The goal came only two minutes after the Redwings got their first shot on goal, a long attempt by Kelly Diedrich in the 29th minute.

The Warriors held a 6-2 advantage on shots on goal in the first half, but couldn’t beat Claire Munaretto. Her best save of the half came with Ally Witt speeding down the left side.

Munaretto stuffed Witt’s shot just as the ball left her foot and then blocked a rebound attempt.
The Redwings did have opportunities, and even had a goal disallowed on an offside call in the 19th minute. They had five quality chances in the final 11 minutes.

The last of those chances came in the 36th minute. But just as O’Hara was about to shoot from the top of the penalty area, Warriors defender Kerrin Clancy slashed through and knocked the ball away.

But despite having a sizeable advantage in territorial play in the first half, the Warriors trailed 1-0 at the break.

Benet completed the scoring on Kaiser’s goal, her third of the season. Kaiser let loose with a blast from about 22 yards out that beat Warriors goalie Kristen Morency high.

“I used my left foot and I wasn’t really sure how that was going to go,” Kaiser said. “But it ended up going in.”

In addition to O’Hara and Kaiser, Wind said Alexa Liber, Brittany Pullen and Diedrich were also keys to the victory.

The Warriors (5-3) had their four-game winning streak snapped but not without a fight, especially in the final five minutes. Late in the game a scramble in front of the goal ended up with a shot from 15 yards out that Munaretto stopped with an outstretched arm to deflect the ball over the crossbar.

“We feel pretty good about the game,” Warriors coach Scott Marksberry said. “It’s fun to come out and compete against them. We did what we needed to do in the first half. We got lazy on one ball and they took advantage of it.

“In the second half we did OK, but we probably didn’t pressure as much as we needed to.”
Marksberry pointed to forward Kate Rogers and midfielder Rachel Nasralla for their strong play, as well as his backline of Sarah Janus, Brigitta Engebretsen and Clancy. But the Warriors junior keeper was the star.

Morency finished with three saves, but only because her aggressive play prevented the Redwings from getting more scoring opportunities.

“K-Mo’s the best,” Clancy said. “She gets better and better every game. She’s not afraid to come off her line. Half the time, we don’t even need to run back because we know she’s got it.”

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2011 varsity roster
Lizzie Bergquist Sr., M
Kerrin Clancy Sr., D
Molly Cook Sr., M
Brigitta Engebretsen Sr., D
Ali Grant Fr., D
Sarah Janus Sr., D
Katrina LoBue Jr., D
Alli Mankse So., M
Sela McClelland So., M
Kristen Morency Jr., GK
Rachael Nasralla Sr., M
Emily Nickell So., M
Kate Rogers Sr., F
Deborah Smith So., M
Crystal Thomas Jr., M
Blythe Todd Jr., F
Sara Tonne Jr., GK
Ally Witt Jr., F
Lexi Youngberg Sr., M

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