DEMOTTE | Boone Grove and Rensselaer will be shooting for their first sectional titles after wins Thursday night at the Class A Covenant Christian Sectional.
Boone was wary of Covenant heading into the first semifinal, as Covenant’s upset of Boone a few years ago was still fresh in coach Chad Roggow’s memory bank.
“I told the girls, ‘it’s going to be a grind,’” he said. “’You’re going to have to bust it.’ And at times it’s not going to be pretty for us.”
Boone (12-4) was just good enough, scoring a goal in each half and held off Covenant 2-0 to advance to Saturday’s 11 a.m. championship game against Rensselaer, which beat Hanover Central 6-5 in a track meet in the second game.
“It would be amazing,” said Boone freshman Emily Martinez, who has scored two goals in the sectional.
Martinez opened the scoring when she found the back of the net on an assist from Olivia McCafferty at the 15:50 mark for a 1-0 advantage.
In the second half, Boone grinded out a goal with Amy Guerrero finishing the play for a 2-0 lead at 63:46.
“When it comes down to it, you just have to give a lot of credit to (Covenant) for what they have,” Roggow said. “Obviously, we’re very happy to be back in the finals like we were last year, but we’ll see what happens on Saturday.”
The Knights (10-9-1) had just one sub for the game, and it caught up to them.
“We knew it was going to be a tough fight,” said senior goalkeeper Adrienne Funderburg. “We didn’t have one of our main offensive (players), so we knew were going to have to lock it down on ‘D’ and push offense every time we could.”
Funderburg was kept busy, as she made 11 saves.
“The best goalie in Northwest Indiana -- quote me on that one,” Covenant coach Aaron de Jager said. “It’s a tough loss, a tough game, but there are no regrets. They put everything on the field.”
Rensselaer (7-6-3) got two goals from Alex Clemente and a big save by keeper Emily Hopkins on a Hanover penalty kick to survive. Clemente has 18 goals on the season.
“I feel like if we don’t score a lot, we won’t be in the game,” Rensselaer coach Ernest Watson said. “Our defense let us down a little bit tonight, but they held long enough to get the win and that’s the most important thing.”
Brooke Stirkowitz and Kylie Singleton each had two goals for Hanover (10-5).