LOWELL | In an evenly-matched game, it seems composure had plenty to do with the outcome of the Lowell Sectional.
Kankakee Valley kept the cooler heads and feet, and overcame Lowell with a 3-0 win to take home the title. The match was back-and-forth throughout the first half, and seemed by all appearances to be headed down to the wire. But just before the end of the first half, the Kougars were able to capitalize in front of the Lowell goal and put in two quick scores to take a 2-0 lead into the second half.
Dakota Dellahan started the scoring for the Kougars with just under seven minutes left in the first half when he slid a ball past Lowell keeper Noah Newcomb. Kankakee Valley's third-string keeper Justin Eger then got into the scoring mix, knocking a second goal past Newcomb.
Dellahan was quick to note the team chemistry of the Kougars is a key to their success.
"We put it in the net, but it was the whole team," Dellahan said.
Kougar coach Duane Vander Woude added that the team had been working hard on team chemistry.
"Teamwork," Vander Woude said. "Passing the ball in the last week-and-a-half. They did just what they were supposed to do."
Even at the start of the second half with the Red Devils down only two, Lowell had plenty of time to stay in the match, but the Red Devils lost their composure and the match took a sloppy and slow turn. Numerous yellow cards and stoppages sunk any chance for a comeback.
"KV, they're fast," Lowell coach Chris Werling said. "Somehow, whatever they've got working, it works for them. They're fast and athletic and that's what they use. They play to their strengths."
Kankakee Valley moves on to play in Wednesday's Valparaiso Regional.
"This was our goal," a Gatorade-soaked Vander Woude said. "This makes number four. The guys have been phenomenal. They've turned it up. We're good to go. We're on to regionals and we'll see what happens. It's just a great bunch of guys."