KHS rockets over Hampshire in 1-0 thriller
Free kick by Gebauer propels soccer to regional title chance
by Mike Slodki
Lady Knights soccer had the odds against it in the regional semifinal match on Tuesday.
Going up against a Class A juggernaut in Hampshire that moved to 2A in the new three-class system and was a State-goer the past three seasons, the Lady Knightsâ€™ chances against the Whip-purs may have seemed slight.
What happened was that Kaneland made good on its best chance, a free kick by Colleen Gebauer with 4:17 remaining in regulation, and took a 1-0 win into Fridayâ€™s 2A Burlington Central Regional against (1) Crystal Lake Central.
Kaneland improved to 11-8-3 and tied the most wins in team history.
â€œI just asked for my 10 yards and waited for our people to get set up,â€ Gebauer said. â€œI just aimed for the corners and hoped for the best.â€
With still more work to do, Sophie Blank held strong in goal and made a sliding save with 3:28 remaining. Emily Heimerdinger had a chance just a minute prior to the goal with a shot that hit the post.
â€œWe just needed to be aggressive and keep our focus,â€ defender Megan Gil said. â€œThe last five minutes were going to be the most crucial of the whole game. Celebrate the goal and settle down.â€
With a 9-1 win at Western Sun Conference rival Yorkville in the morning, the Lady Knights assured themselves of their first winning season since 2005 (11-10-1) and the second in team history.
Kaneland also ends its conference portion of the season at 2-5.
Against the Lady Foxes, KHS went out to a 5-1 lead after the first 40 minutes of action, and added four more in the second half.
Emily Heimerdinger scored three goals, and Bridget Crosby added two herself. The other goals were had by Thalia Garcia, Andi Bruce, Paige Rogers and Sarah Goodrich.
The freshmen closed their season out with an 8-1 loss to Plainfield North on Thursday, as Hayley Garcia found the net.
PHOTO: Megan Gil tries to get the ball out of Kanelandâ€™s zone in the second half of the varsity home loss to Batavia on May 12. The Lady Knights improved to 11-8-3 with an upset win over Hampshire at Tuesdayâ€™s regional. Photo by John DiDonna