LOWELL | If not for a spectacular night in goal by Hebron's Joe Moser, this game could have been ugly.
Moser made 25 saves though it was not enough against a relentless Covenant Christian offense which blanked Hebron 3-0 in the opening game of the Lowell soccer sectional.
The win is Covenant Christian's first in the postseason since joining the tournament.
"You've got to give a lot of credit to their keeper," Knights coach Andrew Dunham said. "Their keeper played very, very well. A lot of it was we just couldn't contain our touch on their defensive surge. If we play like we should than we should put a lot more in the net. You have to give a lot of credit to Hebron. They really came out and played very, very well."
Hebron, due mostly to the play of Moser, was able to keep Covenant Christian scoreless until Matt Schurman found the back of the net with 4:52 left in the first half.
"It was kind of an ugly game for us," Covenant Christian's Austin Van Prooyen said. "But I'm glad we pulled through."
The Knights added their second goal of the night just two minutes into the second half. Justin Handtke scored the goal and brother James Handtke added a goal midway through the second half to lift the Knights into Saturday's semifinal.
"The finishing wasn't there but it will come," James Handtke said of the Knight offense.
Hebron will return a large group of sophomores next season and coach Zelijko Mijatovic is optimistic about the future.
"I thnk we're going to look good next year," Mijatovic said. "With what I have here, I think we're going to be very competitive."
Covenant Christian will face Kankakee Valley Saturday at noon, while Lowell will face Rensselaer Central in the early game at 10 a.m.
"We've got a tough game upcoming on Saturday," Dunham said. "KV's an excellent team and we look forward to playing them. We've been part of the IHSAA for two years now and we lost last year to KV so we're looking to avenge that very close loss last year."