WHEATFIELD | Thursday night's chilly conditions had the feel of late October instead of mid-September in a match-up between two Times Top 10 teams.
No. 2 Chesterton's play was tournament worthy in a 3-0 shutout of No. 5 Kankakee Valley.
Fresh off Tuesday's big win over No. 1 Lake Central, Chesterton (9-2) kept its foot on the pedal, scoring two goals in just more than 17 minutes to take a 2-0 advantage.
"It was a good effort after coming off a tough L.C. game," Chesterton coach David Galloway said.
The second tally came off a crisp corner kick by Elizabeth Benson to Sam Furto, who headed it into the back of the net.
"It was really cool, because we've been practicing on a thing called the honey cut," Furto said. "We surround the goal, and I came from behind the keeper and go straight up in front and head it right to the back post."
K.V. (7-4) played Chesterton pretty even in the first half but had little to show for it, despite getting four quality shots on goal. It unraveled when freshman keeper Mackenzie DeMars was knocked out of the game when she took an inadvertent knee to the head scrambling for a loose ball outside of the goal area at the 34:14 mark.
"I had to take one of my kids and put her in the goal who doesn't play in there," K.V. coach John Hufnagel said. "I just wanted to get out of here in one piece. We‘re playing for a conference championship."
Bridget Brendza scored the lone second half goal, and Chesterton finished with 15 shots on goal.
"They're getting much better at misdirecting the defense," Galloway said.
Furto, who finished with a goal and an assist, said the Duneland Athletic Conference schedule prepared them for the rest of the season.
"After our win on Tuesday, I felt like we came out a little tougher and ready to win, because we know that now we have a chance to win the DAC," Furto said.
Hufnagel said his Kougars, who play in the Northwest Crossroads Conference, can match up, but he wasn't pleased with the officiating.
"Chesterton is just a good hard-charging team," Hufnagel said.