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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Blackhawk Christian's Mallory Neebes kicks the ball away from South Adams players during the first half on Tuesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Blackhawk Christian's Sage Martin waits for the ball during the first half against South Adams on Tuesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Blackhawk Christian players celebrate after a goal during the first half against South Adams on Tuesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Blackhawk Christian's Quinn Doden and South Adams' Emilee Myers fight for the ball during the first half on Tuesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Blackhawk Christian's Courtney Elston reacts as South Adams' Kristen Wynn kicks the ball during the first half on Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018 11:30 pm

Blackhawk girls survive South Adams

ELIZABETH WYMAN | The Journal Gazette

As Blackhawk Christian goalkeeper Lydia Stayton stood in the goal during a penalty kick shoot out nearly two and a half hours after the first round of the  Class A Canterbury girls soccer sectional began, her nerves were higher than ever.

"I was asking Jesus to help me," Stayton said. "Just doing everything I've practiced."

South Adams' Emilee Myers delivered a shot to the bottom left of the goal and Stayton stepped in front of it to win the game, which was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation and overtime, 2-1 in a shoot out.

"I thought she played excellent," Blackhawk Christian coach Tim Kintz said of his goalkeeper. "We talked, specially today, about her owning the 18. I thought she owned the 18 better today than since she's been in high school."

Kintz said last week his team allowed four goals to slip through in the first 14 minutes of a match with Eastbrook. That's when he challenged Stayton to own the 18.

Stayton delivered for Blackhawk Christian (9-6-2), giving up only one goal in the 80 minutes of regulation and 14 minutes of overtime in a game where South Adams' relentless play created many scoring opportunities.

"We held them off, but they threw everything forward and scored with seven minutes left," Kintz said.

Holding the Starfires off is exactly what the Braves did. After Sage Martin netted a goal off of an ill-advised South Adams (9-6-1) pass within the first three minutes of the game, neither team could score until late in the second half.

Kristen Wynn got behind the Braves' defense multiple times throughout the night but didn't capitalize for the Starfires until just over seven minutes left in regulation. After Stayton went out to corral the ball, it slipped passed her leaving a nearly wide open look for Wynn who tied it at 1.

"Most intense game I've ever coached through," South Adams coach Chad Mitchell said. "Even when it was all said and done I looked over and I had goose bumps. It was a crap shoot that it came down to the PKs."

A highly physical match that featured a handful of players on both teams being tended to or carried off the field, could play to the advantage of the Braves as they move on to the next round of sectionals to play Manchester.

"We're playing at a higher level," Kintz said. "I saw the game before was 4-0 (Manchester defeating Whitko) and sometimes although it's nice to get a win, those don't really prepare you for the next level."

Wynn also scored the lone penalty kick for the Starfires, while Quinn Doden and Macy Middlebusher added two for the Braves. Blackhawk Christian made it to semi state last year in addition to winning their first ever sectional championship.

"These girls have been here before," Kintz said. "We hope to be back-to-back and we can rely on that confidence."

In other action: Carroll defeated Snider 7-0, with goals from Kelsi Hoot (2), Maddy Welker (2), Sarah Mullins (1), Sydney Schmitz (2). Norwell defeated Heritage 2-0 with goals from Lindsay Collins and Molly Wendel. DeKalb defeated Lakeland 2-1 behind two goals from Jamie Gentis. Hailey Alleshouse scored once for Lakeland. Angola defeated Wawasee 1-0 behind Reace Peepler's goal. Warsaw defeated South Side 10-0.

ewyman@jg.net