Kuemper Catholic junior Ambrea Schreck (20) challenges Underwood senior Jasmine Benedict  (12) for the ball in Friday’s semi-final.  Teammates of  Schreck include Leonard Madison (25) and Regan Gerkin (17).
Kuemper Catholic junior Ambrea Schreck (20) challenges Underwood senior Jasmine Benedict (12) for the ball in Friday’s semi-final. Teammates of Schreck include Leonard Madison (25) and Regan Gerkin (17).

June 5, 2017

Harlan

On a hot evening in Harlan, Kuemper Catholic’s girls soccer season came to an end at the Class 1A, Region 2 semi-finals Friday against Underwood as the Eagles toppled the Kuemper Knights 4-0.

Despite the disappointing score, Kuemper goalie Breanna Augustus, junior, played in great form, recording 10 saves. Underwood’s Jasmine Benedict, senior, scored two goals for the Eagles, recording one goal in each half.

The 4-8 Knights were tasked with playing an Underwood team that was 8-4 in their regular season matches.

Underwood was fresh off of a victory against Missouri Valley, at Missouri Valley, where they won 2-1 in overtime. Kuemper had triumphed over Harlan, at Harlan, in the quarter final with a final score of 4-3. Kuemper Head Coach John Wagner hoped that the confidence from the Knights’ last game’s success would carry into Friday’s match. The winner of the match would move on to face North Polk, a team that had achieved a home victory of 5-1 against Des Moines Christian to secure its spot in the finals.

“I really came into this match thinking we were going to be looking forward to North Polk,” Wagner said. “I didn’t look past it, but I thought we prepared well.”

The opening minutes of the match saw both teams sharing the ball evenly on both sides of the pitch. Underwood’s Hannah James took an uncontested shot from 19 yards out that bounced off of the inside of bottom-left post and slid behind Augustus, just grazing the goal line before returning to the penalty area. The shot threw the majority pro-Underwood crowd to their feet, though they were quickly disappointed to not hear a whistle to signify a goal had been scored. Underwood senior Jasmine Benedict would follow up a few moments later with a high-arching shot off of a throw-in ball that would find itself in the back of Kuemper’s net.

Underwood failed to let-up after their first goal. The Eagles’ midfield proved impenetrable as they reduced Kuemper to sending sloppy passes through the midfield that would end up in the feet of Underwood’s goalkeeper or defensive line.

Kuemper’s misfortune would continue through the second half of the match. Underwood earned a penalty kick at the start of half after a foul committed by Kuemper’s Sarah Healy. The referee showed Healy, a sophomore, a yellow card following the foul. Underwood’s James would score the penalty kick for the Eagles, recording the second goal for the Eagles.

Underwood continued their offensive purge until the final whistle. Junior Olivia True of Underwood scored in the 11th minute after a save rolled from under Augustus’ gloves. Benedict of Underwood burst through the midfield on a beautiful run to shoot and sink a shot in the bottom left corner from about 14 yards out in the 18th minute.

Wagner said that Friday’s match was the second in which the team competed in “intensely hot” temperatures.

“We looked like the tired team out there,” Wagner said. “It was like the other team was playing in air conditioning.”

Wagner added that his team gave it their all and played with a lot of heart. Though he will miss the team’s graduating seniors, which include his own daughter, Madeline Wagner, who finished the season with two goals, other seniors included Kate Dickman and Lauren Promes, Coach Wagner expressed his optimism for the future.

“We have a great junior class that is going to take over the senior leadership right away,” Wagner said. “We have more sophomores that are making a big impact, our freshmen are strong and eighth graders will be coming in next year to make an impact as well.”