By Colin Harris | Staff Writer
An early goal changed everything for the Kent Roosevelt girls soccer team, as the Rough Riders held on tight for a 1-0 non-conference road win over Aurora.
In just the third minute of the game, Roosevelt's Keeley Leising set up for a corner-kick opportunity. The sophomore forward's boot crossed past the goal before senior defender Katie Mohnacky rose up and connected with a header that found the back of the net.
"Honestly, that was probably the best goal I've seen all season," Roosevelt coach Curtis Ahrens said of Mohnacky's score. "We practice that play a lot and it was good to see it happen in game action."
Ahrens said that Mohnacky's goal was a breath of fresh air for a team that has struggled all season to start games strong.
"I told the girls that we really needed to get out fast today, because we've been chasing all season," Ahrens said. "We've been getting down early a lot this season, so that changes everything when the other team is the one chasing."
With an early one-goal lead, all that was left for Roosevelt to do was hold on against a determined Greenmen squad for the next 77 minutes of play.
To that end, the Rough Riders managed a defensive effort that allowed them to hold on for the shutout, despite being outshot 9-3 in the game.
"I have to give huge props to the defense, because we changed our defense for the Hudson game this weekend, so this was only our second game playing this style," Ahrens said, referencing a new defense that incorporates both a sweeper and stopper. "We had been getting beat a lot in the middle this season, but that wasn't the case tonight. A lot of the shots Aurora took down the middle were the harmless, 30 yards out kicks."
Kent Roosevelt goalkeeper Audra Grimm earned the shutout, corralling the harmless long shots, but also knocking down a couple of really solid shots on goal that threatened to be equalizers.
Most of Aurora's legitimate shots on goal came during the second half, which was something Greenmen coach Jason Bizba said he was unhappy to see.
"We did not play our best during the first half," Bizba said. "We didn't play with the intensity or the composure that we expect to have and Roosevelt made us pay.
"I thought we played a better game in the second half, but even then, we failed to make our moments count with bad shots or bad crossing paths. It seemed like we panicked out there."
KENT ROOSEVELT 1, AURORA 0
KENT ROOSEVELT 1 0 -- 1
AURORA 0 0 -- 0
First Half -- 1. (KR) Katie Mohnacky (Keeley Leising).
Seconf Half -- No scoring.
Shots on Goal -- Aurora, 9-3.
Corner Kicks -- Aurora, 6-2.
Goalkeepers/Saves -- (KR) Audra Grimm/9; (AUR) Maria Mims/2.
Facebook: Colin Harris, Record-Courier