CC’s first Championship match at the Lebanon Invitational Saturday with Center Grove’s young squad getting a weekend of games vs. Varsity competition. The Trojans would impress with their midfield possession and use of target strikers. A collision in front of the Knights net would result in multiple ladies on the ground. No whistles blew and the ball rolled wide of the bodies where Anderson stepped into easy goal for 1-0 lead 7 minutes in. The referees would not interrupt run of play much so players adjusted. In the 16th minute, Center Grove played a corner low near post and Hippenmeyer was able to turn and shoot to beat the defense and the goalie to increase their lead to 2-0. Intensity improved for the Knights and they would get a few late chances, finally earning a shot on goal from Pannell while missing wide or high on the other 4. A Center Grove through ball, with a bit over 2 minutes remaining, would be stopped at top of the box by a vocal Siemers but afterwards, the Trojan striker made only a limited effort to avoid contact. No cards were issued despite coaches’ protest and Siemers would leave game with shoulder injury. Siemers earned 5 saves facing 7 of 10 shots on goal from Trojans while Morgan Martin would earn the save facing 1 of 5 shots on goal from Knights. CC dependent on the back line led by Kiracofe’s 7 defensive stops.
Lady Knights had more opportunities in the second half with improved possession. Patience from the Trojans who were content to work the ball around in the offensive half would finally break through the Knights defense. Anderson received a pass inside the box, near the post from the right. Instead of shooting, she passed across the goal mouth, finding teammate Smalley making a far post run from outside left. The goal would push the lead to 3-0. Corner would be earned for Knights with 13 minutes remaining and Pannell sent in good ball near post. Gerrety would get there first and play drop back to Pannell. One touch around defender and high cross was sent back in. Trojan’s goalie caught up high but couldn’t maintain possession as Pumarino challenged. Ball dropped and freshman Pumarino got touch around the goalie for her first varsity talley to give Knights some life. Score would end 3-1. Lady Knights would finish with 5 of 9 shots on goal, primarily from Pannell, with Trojan goalie Martin credited with 4 saves. Center Grove would keep 5 of 6 on goal in 2nd half, one requiring hustle save from Kiracofe. CC’s Ulrey credited with 3 saves. Defense stops leader again Kiracofe in the center with 12 this game. Both teams had three corners, each scoring once, while more fouls from Trojans, 6 to 4.